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australian rowers profiles and history

Lewis Hendey

Tamar Rowing Club (TAS)

This a sad story of a promising young rower cut down in his prime in cycling accident. He was hit by a car in 2013 whilst cycling along the West Tamar Highway on 29th December.

His death hit the rower community in Tasmania and in particular at his club heavily. The Launceston Examiner's tribute provides an insight into the depth of this feeling. A tribute in the Tamar Rowing Club's boathouse displaying medals donated by team mate Oliver Cook in his honour is similarly moving.

The Examiner's article is reproduced below:

Medals for a mate

By Lucy Poskitt

A roadside memorial to a young rower whose life was cut short in December bears the medals he could have won if he was still alive.

Clubmate and under 23 Australian rower Oliver Cook, of Legana, rowed in the races that Trevallyn's Lewis Hendey, 21, would have entered at the Australian Rowing Championships in March, and gifted his resulting medals to the site in his friend's honour.

But perhaps the most poignant is a gold medal from the senior men's club eights state championship in February. Cook said the crew was neck and neck with their nearest competitot for the title. "Then someone shouted out 'Do it for Lewy', and we did," he said.

At the national championships, Cook, 18, won gold in the under 23 lightweight double- going one better for his mate Hendey, who won silver in the event last year. Cook also won bronze in the senior lightweight fours and silver in the single lightweight scull. "In the singles, [Hendey] was definitely the thought in my mind," he said.

Hendey was hit by a care and killed while cycling along the West Tamar Highway, four days after Christmas last year.

Cook said he had placed the medals at the memorial "a couple of weekds ago" for his friend. "They're all the ones he would have won," he said. "I figured it was the idea that counted."

Tamar Rowing Club coach and TIS emerging talent squad Northern manager Ron Woods said Hendey had been a committed rower with huge potential. " He certainly had a great future in rowing," Woods said.

The medals mentioned in this article are now on display in the Tamar Rowing Club.

Andrew Guerin
May 2024

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