8 March 2020
By Tim Koch
Tim Koch suspends patriarchal power structures and gender norms for 24 hours (you’re welcome) to mark International Women’s Day 2020 on 8 March with a selection of appropriate rowing pictures from the online photo archive of the State Library of South Australia (SLSA).
2020 is to be marked as the centenary of women’s rowing in Australia. As some of the above pictures prove, women’s rowing in the country has been thriving for much longer than just a hundred years, but the Australian Ladies’ Rowing Council was established in 1920, the same year that the prestigious Interstate Championships put on its first event for women, the coxed fours.
The Wikipedia page, Women’s rowing in Australia, holds that:
During the 1890s, cricket and rowing two of the most popular competitive sports for women in Australia… The first recorded (Australian) women’s rowing club was the Albert Park Ladies’ Rowing Club, formed in 1907 (in Melbourne), with similar clubs formed in Brisbane in 1908 (the Brisbane LRC), Sydney in 1909 (the Western Suburbs LRC), and Tasmania in 1912 (the Buckingham LRC and the Sandy Bay LRC).
Referencing Marion K. Stell, Half the Race, A History of Australian Women in Sport (1991), the page continues:
During that time period, rowing was considered an acceptable sport for women to participate in, and was one of the first sports in which women were required to practise daily in order to excel at it.
Rebecca Caroe has marked the Centenary with one of her RowingChat podcasts, talking to Australian Olympian, Margot Foster.
The timestamps to the above programme are:
03:00 Background and history.
05:00 The Centenary and the Interstate Rowing Regatta.
09:00 The Queens Cup
12:20 Women in Sport in Australia.
16:00 History book by Judy Buckrich.
17:50 The Seoul Olympics.
19:15 Margot’s story of injustice in selection.
*Apologies to ‘Men At Work’.