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australian rowers profiles and history

Reginald McKay

Footscray City Rowing Club (VIC)

Died: 22nd January 2021

1977 – Obtained FISA Umpires Licence
1977 – World Championships jury
1978 – World Championships jury
1979 – World Junior & Senior Championships jury
1980 – Olympic Games & World Championship juries
1982-87 – Chairman of VRA Committee
1982-90 – Councillor for Victoria on AARC
1983 – World Championship jury
1984 – Olympic Games jury
1986 – World Championship and Commonwealth Games jury
1989 – World Championships jury
1990 – World Championships jury
1989-1994 – President Australian Rowing Council
1992 – Olympic Games – jury
2011 – Julius Patching Award winner for official of the year
Life member Rowing Victoria
Past President Footscray City Rowing Club

Reg was one of the sports best and important umpires - here in 1989 at the Australian Championships

Reg umpiring at 1989 World Championships in Bled

Reg made an enormous contribution to the sport at all levels, from club to the national level. He umpired and administered the sport at the highest levels being a long standing international umpire and also President of Rowing Australia. He has been Chairman of the Rowing Victoria Committee and also President of his club, Footscray City. He continued to actively row to almost the very end.

He was an administrator who always sought to provide a sporting environment on which the talented could achieve their best. In 1990 as President of Rowing Australia, he arranged for Prof Theo Koerner to be guest coach of the Australian team. Theo did great work for the sport in the brief time he spent with us, particularly on training methods. Your correspondent was team manager at the time and witnessed first hand this great work. Recognition of Reg's achievements was made in 2011 when he was awarded the Julius Patching award by the Victorian Olympic Council.

In his humble way, he noted that: I have enjoyed my journey with our great sport, many very exciting moments and also memorable ones, however I don’t believe the need for any further elaboration is required. Memories are best kept for "elaboration" over a beer.

Reg is also the father of Michael McKay, one of Australia’s finest oarsmen.

1990 - Reg McKay, Prof Theo Koerner and Michael McKay

Reg umpiring in 2020 at the selection trials in Sydney
Photo courtesy of Greg Smith

Andrew Guerin 2011 - updated January 2021

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