Scroll To Top
History of the Queensland GPS Head of the River rowing regatta

1997 NSW Schoolgirls Head of the River

All the rivers run for these schoolgirls (Heather Smith, Sydney Morning Herald, 21 Mar 1997)

Sydney at 5am is cloaked in darkness. Sunrise is a little less than two hours away, but the riverways and boatsheds of Australia’s most populous city are alive with activity as rowing crews prepare for an early morning training session.

Many in these diligent crews are teenagers, and a surprising number are female – surprising because a decade ago women’s rowing Australia-wide was small-time and struggling. So dire was the situation that national rowing selectors, in a controversial move, decided not to include any female crews in the Seoul Olympic train-on squad because their times were deemed uncompetitive with world standards.

Much has changed. The establishment and successful application of a talent-identification scheme, which selects potential athletes based on their physical attributes rather than sporting prowess, has produced several world-class rowers such as Olympic gold medalists Megan Still and Kate Slatter.

The sport’s profile has increased as Australian rowers, male and female, have achieved at an international level.

While junior rowing has long been associated with private boys’ schools and events such as the GPS Head of the River, in NSW over the past five years rowing has been taken up enthusiastically by girls’ private and religious schools.

Despite the lack of facilities, schools have formed alliances with rowing clubs and made a strong commitment to local regattas and titles.

So great has been the growth at the schoolgirl level that a Girls Head of the River is now held. The 1997 event will be staged on Sunday at the Sydney International Regatta Centre, Penrith.


Single Scull

No time

1st PLC Sydney – Olivia Reid

1st Coxed Quad Scull

No time

1st Loreto Normanhurst

Open Four

The University of New South Wales Trophy

No time

1st MLC School

First Four

The Sydney University Women’s Sports Association Trophy

No time

1st SCEGGS Darlinghurst

1st Eight

No time

1st Loreto Normanhurst

Year 10 Coxed Quad Scull Division 1

No time

1st Loreto Kirribilli

< previous 1996

> next 1998

top of page

Website by Hope Stewart—Website Design & Management