A brief history of the Glenorchy Rowing Club
Like many sporting clubs, The Glenorchy Rowing Club has had its ups and downs.
The seed for establishing the Club was planted in 1971, with a group of prominent local businessmen and professionals forming a steering committee to oversee the establishment of this new community club to provide sporting opportunities for young football players in the summer off season. The black and white club uniform was based on that of the Glenorchy Football club
The initial years of the Club saw strong membership and rowing success, however by 1976, with an expiring lease and the impending demolition of the old club rooms for foreshore reclamation works at Montrose Bay, membership had declined.
The Club was granted a lease on the old Montrose Bay Yacht Club building and with voluntary labor and donations from the community and members, the doors were opened in February 1972.
Junior rowers were recruited from local high schools and initially all equipment used was borrowed from other southern rowing clubs. A subsequent sponsorship and fundraising program saw the acquisition of several crew boats, blades, a trailer and coach’s runabout.
The future of the Club was considered in 1977 and following inspection of various foreshore locations, a decision was made to rebuild at Montrose Bay. The Club then went into hiatus with boats and equipment stored at various sites throughout the municipality.
With funds from the Commonwealth Employment Program, the present Club building was built and officially opened in 1985, and the Glenorchy Rowing Club was back on the water after long absence, with a focus on junior rowing.
As well as competing in school and state regattas in Tasmania, Club rowers have gone on to row nationally, internationally and won medals at World Championships and the Olympics.
The profile of the Club has evolved over time and now has a strong Masters (rowers over 27 years of age) contingent, who row for fun, fitness and friendship.
A couple of our members first started rowing with the Club in the early 1970s and have come back to the sport after a few decades’ break!
Despite the ups and downs the club reached its 50th anniversary in 2021, although due to COVID-19, celebrations were delayed until 2022.
(Header image: 1973/74 Glenorchy Rowing Club underage 4+)