On the evening of March 24, 2023, the Norwood International Rowing Club held its annual Head of River - Presentation Dinner. Over 250 members of the rowing community, including students, coaches, parents, and supporters, dressed up to celebrate and recognize the achievements and camaraderie of the 2022/23 season.
The event was an opportunity to thank the fantastic team who worked tirelessly alongside the rowers and behind the scenes to bring the season and events together. The Rowing Committee and Head of River Dinner Sub-Committee displayed electrifying energy throughout the last 9 months to ensure each regatta and this event was welcoming, inclusive, and well run. The Head of River Dinner Sub-Committee deserves a special mention for all their efforts in making the event come alive and be a truly fitting celebration of the 2022/23 season.
The evening began with our Captains of Boats Sophia and Oliver, recapping the season and welcoming our community to the event. We were then able to recognise all of the 2022 Endurance Challenge Fundraisers, who raised over $12,000 towards new equipment to be delivered in 2023. 53 rowers took up the fundraising challenge, with special mention to Arabella, Saffron, Deacon, and Serena, who each raised over $500. As the evening continued, the Year 7 rowers were congratulated for taking up the challenge and beginning their journey with the NIHS Rowing Club. The Year 8 rowers were recognized for their brilliant development, highlighted by the Year 8 B crew's 2nd place at Head of the River. Leo and Grace received the Year 8 Best Rower Awards for outstanding performance, with Imogen and Jack recognized with the Coaches' award for dedication, respect, and commitment.
The Year 9 rowers excelled this year, continuing to strive on and off the water to build a culture of success. Rohan and Phoebe were awarded the Year 9 Best Rower Awards, and the Coaches' Awards went to Julissa and Isaac. The Year 10 rowing squad was recognized for their exceptional perseverance over the last 3 years of challenging sporting conditions. Connor and Mia received the Best Rower Awards, with Alana and Nickolas awarded the Coaches' Awards.
The Presentation Dinner is a key event to celebrate our senior squads and particularly pay tribute to our Year 12 rowers. Victoria Yurkova's brilliant capture of each of our Year 12s' transformation from their starting point in the program to their final regattas on a "trip down memory lane" was humbling. It was a momentous occasion to see just how much they have grown, developed, and experienced to become outstanding young men and women within our community. A big thank you to all that our Year 12s have contributed to the program over the last 5 years, and we hope you will continue to be a part of our community as a coach, supporter, or spectator. We are excited to see where your journey within and outside of rowing takes you. Our Senior Girls of 2022/23 are the largest squad Norwood has ever had. These 15 young rowers committed to each other for the gruelling but rewarding journey of a Rowing Season. Their development on and off the water has been substantial, and they have worked brilliantly with their Coaches, Alison Smith, and Grace Dodson, to boat a Girls 1st VIII, Girls 1st IV, and Girls Res 1x. The Senior Girls Best Rower was awarded to Pippa and the Coaches' Award to Samantha. The Senior Boys excelled throughout the season, with a resounding desire to compete for the top place driving inspired performances at each regatta. Coached by Brenton Terrell (BT), and Alex Allum-Henson and supported by a number of our junior coaches they manage an exceptional fourth-place finish in the VIII and IVs. The Senior Boys Best Rower was awarded to Oliver with the Coaches’ award being received by Rayhan. The 1st VIII Coxswain Mitchell was awarded the Club Best Coxswain and delivered an inspiring speech in the absence of Head Coach BT.
Sofia and Nickolas were awarded the club most improved for taking their rowing journeys to new levels over the course of the last 12 months. Both have been determined to improve across multiple boat classes and have seen their technique, performance, and capacity grow greatly due to their commitment. The Principal's Trophy is awarded for outstanding dedication and club spirit, it was received by Rayhan for his exceptional ability to bring a group together, be meticulous in his preparation, and inspiring attitude. The President's Trophy is awarded for outstanding respect for the clubhouse, equipment, and wider rowing community. Alexander’s ongoing commitment to ensuring he leaves boats, boatsheds, and rowing trailers in excellent repair saw him recognised with this award for the second year running. A fantastic way to celebrate the 2022/23 rowing season. We watch in anticipation as Angelica, Oliver, and Igor take to the water in WA for the Australian Rowing Championships over the next 6 days (March 27 to April 2). A full list of awardees is attached.
Photo Credit: Victoria Yurkova