Rowing makes a splash among Tauranga girls

Tauranga Rowing Club members Zara Brangwynne, Chloe Wright, Jenna Brangwynne and Zoe Stubbing will soon be out on the water in a new eight-seater women-specific rowing boat. Photo: John Borren/SunLive.

A sudden surge in the number of young women taking up rowing Tauranga Rowing Club means a grant from New Zealand Community Trust is even more appreciated.

The $20,000 cash injection will be used by Tauranga Rowing Club to purchase a boat for the new members.

“We had more than 20 novice girls join in the last season,” says club funding co-ordinator Angela Brangwynne. “That’s a really good increase in the interest in our sport.”

Founded in 1919, the club – which based at Memorial Park Tauranga – caters for competitive and recreational rowing for all age-groups from 13 years old upwards.

Today the club has more than 100 members from all the high schools in the region. And the new eight-seater women-specific rowing boat has been ordered and is expected to arrive in time for the summer rowing season.

“It’s designed for a lighter weight crew, so it’s less weight to carry. Also, because it’s larger, it’s easier to manoeuvre and safer to keep the kids together rather than in several smaller boats on the water,” says Angela.

NZCT communications manager Don Martin says the trust is thrilled to support any activity that enables more youth to participate in sport.

“Tauranga Rowing Club gets kids out on the water safely so it’s fantastic to see more teens wanting to get involved. With the regattas, we can see that rowing really can lead to bigger things and that aligns with our values.”

Angela agrees the competitions are an important part of rowing. “The camaraderie and friendships made on the water and on away trips are really strong.

“Regattas are fun and while we do put up strong teams, it’s not about winning. We row in some of the most beautiful places like Blue Lake, Karapiro and Twizel.”

It’s hoped the new boat will encourage the new members to stick with rowing.

“If we can provide the right equipment to make it easier for the crews to get on the water, then the girls are more likely to enjoy it,” says Angela.

“And let’s face it, there’s nothing quite like early mornings out on our harbour. The kids really appreciate that.”

To join, or for further information on Tauranga Rowing Club, email:


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