BRC Para Battle Australia
Three weeks ago "a call to arms" of a very different kind were heard at Balmain Rowing Club once again.
This "call to arms" was not to subscribe oneself to the Battlefield of Gallipoli nor to defend our country with life and limb like so many of our past Military BRC members would have done.
This "call to arms" was issued by Rowing Australia to four of our BRC Para Rowing Squad. It would see Ruby Sutherland, Caitlin Lisle, Kevin Wall and James Talbot from our Para Rowing Squad enter the depths of possibly the biggest battle of their Rowing lives thus far.
All 4 Para rowers had been called up for a chance to trial, and possibly represent and defend their place in Para Rowing for Australia at the World Titles in Sarasota Florida USA in 2017 in Para Rowing.
The rowers names were announced by Rowing Australia, and not unlike the young men and women of past were met with shock, surprise and ultimately an insurmountable amount of pride for their chance to represent their country.
Ruby, Kevin and James were selected in the LTA Mixed 4+ along with 2 comrades from Tasmania and Caitlin was selected in the AS/ PR1 Single skull.
With only 3 weeks to prepare the athletes, the Para rowing Coaches, Liam James, Anne Craig, Alex Nikolaidis and Barbara Ramjan flew into full battle mode once again and as always gave their time so generously to help further the crews with extra on water time and fitness regimens in order that the athletes be as prepared as possible in the minimum amount of time to enter the battle.
Rowing trials commenced on ANZAC day 2017 with a moving ceremony at SIRC Penrith, followed by Caitlin in the single scull and Ruby, Kevin and James moving through athlete combination changes in the Mixed LTA Mixed 4+ over 2000m. PARA Rowing is now rowed over a distance of 2000m as per the World Program.
All 4 Para rowers gave everything they had over a week long program at SIRC, showing quality rowing, huge learning curves, club pride and a mate-ship and bond that will, like our Anzac's withstand the test of time.
Unfortunately our rowers didn't make the times required by Rowing Australia to justify sending the boats on this occasion to the World Titles 2017. However we all know that its only a matter of time with our Para Program rowers that we will see these names and others spread through the ranks into competitions representing themselves, their club, their country and projecting the Australian Para Rowing Movement further into the world spotlight.
We salute you all. Job well done!