Grammar school tradition rows on in Bunbury

David BaileySouth Western Times
Former Olympic rower and coach Tony Lovrich, centre, with Alex Hodgins, 16, and Dylan Holthouse, 17, and other students from Guildford Grammar School in the Bunbury Rowing Club boat shed last week.
Camera IconFormer Olympic rower and coach Tony Lovrich, centre, with Alex Hodgins, 16, and Dylan Holthouse, 17, and other students from Guildford Grammar School in the Bunbury Rowing Club boat shed last week. Credit: David Bailey

Bunbury Rowing Club became home for students from Guildford Grammar School last week.

In a tradition that started 20 years ago, elite rowers from the school used the club as a base while honing their skills on the Leschenault Inlet.

Former Australian Olympian rower Tony Lovrich, now Guildford Grammar director of rowing, said Bunbury was well-liked with club facilities and the club’s support being second to none.

The early morning action on the inlet brought out current and former rowers keen to catch up with Lovrich and his staff and watch on as the young visitors were put through their paces on the water.

The former Olympian and coach said the punt to come to Bunbury two decades ago had paid off.

“Bunbury Rowing Club has a fine reputation,” Lovrich said.

It is seen as a jewel in the crown outside of the metropolitan region when it comes to rowing.

“We have been coming south for 30 years, originally we went to an area near Collie for maybe 10 years, then came here to Bunbury.

“It is a good way of bringing the students back together after being apart for some weeks enjoying the school holidays. It helps them bond as a group and prepares for the new year ahead.”

Guildford Grammar student Alex Hodgins said the visit was a highlight for the rowers who looked forward to the Bunbury camp.

During the week, students trained on a stretch of water used for more than 100 years for the sport of rowing while taking part in other athletic activities in and around Bunbury

which included training with youth from the Bunbury Rowing Club.

Lovrich said long before he became a coach, he would travel to Bunbury taking part in regattas on the inlet.

He said the area had produced many fine rowers while being modest about his own achievements.

Lovrich won a silver medal in the quadruple sculls in Los Angeles in 1984 and was a coach of the Australian team at the 1996 Olympics.

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