Curtin rowing club breaking down barriers

Clontarf Rowers Amelia Forrest, Nikkita Smith, Erykah Forrest and Chelsea Whitehurst.
Clontarf Rowers Amelia Forrest, Nikkita Smith, Erykah Forrest and Chelsea Whitehurst.

ESTABLISHING parallels between sport and higher education is not a new thing, but a Clontarf Aboriginal College pilot program has blossomed in to a thriving rowing club.

Last year under the name Row Ahead, Clontarf with Curtin University Boat Club formed the first all-Aboriginal rowing squad, with rowers from Yamaji, Gidgee and Noongar nations and students from the Northern Territory.

Boat club representative Cameron Thorn said the response was unexpected and since the 15 inaugural senior squad rowers the club had grown to house teams in years 7-9.

“We had the first all-indigenous squad in a state regatta which is quite a big deal,” he said.

Mr Thorn said the trail blazing squad were breaking barriers for the sport, which is usually associated with elite private schools.

“We teach students to row, build confidence and learn (physical education), literacy and numeracy.”