For Phoenix P-12 Community College, preparations for the Head of the Lake have been about the bigger picture rather than just one race.
The crew has worked hard throughout the off-season and Rowing Director Sarah Hawkes said her main priority has been developing a sense of pride within the shed as the tightknit crew eyes Sunday’s race day.
“They’ve all said that they’ve come together really well, grown closer and enjoyed their time together,” Hawkes told The Courier.
“The girls have been working really hard together as a team which is really nice.”
In terms of expectations towards the Head of the Lake, Hawkes was keeping them simple and realistic – enjoy the occasion.
The girls have raced regularly at various lead-up regattas, gaining valuable experience, which will hopefully hold them in good stead this weekend.
See what the crews had to say here.
“We just really want them to enjoy the race and be able to feel successful about their hard work throughout the season.
“We just want them to be proud of their efforts and walk away pleased.
“We’ve entered in as many regattas this season as we can, just to give them the opportunities racing in different grades.”
Hawkes said some of the girls had taken up rowing to improve their fitness over the years and she was now hopeful many of them would continue rowing beyond their school years.
Often rowing can be a sport that students are heavily involved with during their school years, but drops away once they leave. But with another positive season and a partnership with Wendouree-Ballarat Rowing Club, the indications that an extended period in the sport are good.
“Some of the girls were drawn to rowing for fitness so we’ve developed fitness throughout the season but also really involved with the technique and just been building them up as a crew.
“That’s what we hope for, them to enjoy life-long participation in sport.
“It can finish up quickly after school.
“Racing for school and for club, it gives them that experience and lots of opportunities and that’s what we’re all about at Phoenix.”