Imagine, for a minute, you’re out on the water. It’s sunrise, and orange light bounces off the rippling surface, soaking into the trees that line the shore in the distance. The air is fresh and cool on your face as you move swiftly through it. Your whole body stretches and flexes with every pull on the oars and the boat glides forward with growing speed.
Her impressive list of achievements hasn’t come easily though. Olivia devoted “a year’s worth of day-in, day-out training to make the team,” and has to study part-time in order to fit training and work into her busy schedule. “It is difficult,” she says, but “it is really worth the sacrifice in the end to know that it pays off!”
Rowing provides a lot of skills that are useful in everyday life, too. “It definitely teaches individuals discipline, and tests your limits, says Olivia. It’s mentally, as well as physically taxing, which had helped her developed strength in mind and body.
“It’s allowed me, especially at school and university, to remain focused on the big picture – whether that’s making an Australian team or getting to graduation.”
Of course, her love for the sport itself has helped her stay on the track to success.
“The true thrill for me is the adrenaline rush and satisfaction of achieving something. It really is addictive, and the sport offers so many opportunities such as lifetime friendships, physical fitness and awful tan lines!”
So, how can you get involved?
“It really is a great way to spend time out on the water, and soak up the great views of Iron Cove. If it’s a social event that you’re looking for, or you really want to have a good go at the sport, the UTS Learn To Row program can offer it,” she says.
The program is an introduction to rowing for beginners and those with limited experience, and aims to teach basic rowing skills, technique and principles both on land and water.
And you’re definitely in good hands. Recognised as one of Australia’s leading rowing clubs, no less than 16 Olympic medallists have come from the club, with the next generation of hopefuls currently training for the Tokyo games in 2020.
The club hosts the program from 9:30-11:30am every Tuesday and Wednesday, and runs each semester.
Yura Mudang resident Fabienne Brack was completely new to rowing before she tried the program, but she enjoys the challenge:
“I think the hardest thing is keeping in sync with all the other members in the boat, but we will get there one day!”
“In the meantime, I enjoy every single class, especially the view and just being on the water … Even if our rowing isn’t perfect just yet ” said Fabienne.
She attends almost every week with UTS Housing, and encourages other residents to give it a go.
“You get wonderful coaching on how to row and all of this for free, why wouldn’t you join? It helps you forget worries and problems in the moment you are out there rowing. And it is a good body workout as well!”
UTS Housing Residential Life Officer, Anirudha Saha, and Resident Networkers hold an excursion to the session every Tuesday morning at 8:45am, meeting outside Yura Mudang.
If you’d like to join, stay tuned for when the program begins again next semester. The skills and knowledge taught are built upon each week, so participants progress from complete beginners in week one, to more experienced rowers by the end of term. UTS Housing excursions to the program will be posted on the UTS Housing Events Page.
Cover photo: Erwin Groen, Flickr.