About us

Who is Community Rowing Club Sydney?

Community Rowing Club Sydney was an initiative of the Balmain Para-Rowing Program Inc – a support organisation that was founded to assist rowers with disabilities to get into the sport of rowing.  We are now working to create a brand new, fully accessible, 100% inclusive community based club that lowers the traditional barriers for entry into our wonderful sport, and integrates all aspects of the community as part of a new mult-use, multi-sport, inclusive community.

Balmain Para- Rowing Program Inc supported rowers with disabilities for over a decade and was the foremost program of its kind in Australia. It is now a part of Community Rowing Club, having transformed from a support program into a rowing club in its own right, and is currently operating from a boatshed at Tambourine Bay on the Lane Cove River in co-operation with Macquarie University.

During 2019/2020 the Inner West Council completed and approved a 10 year Plan of Management and Master Plan for Leichhardt Park. Identified in that plan is a site for the establishment of the Community Rowing Club community boatshed facility – our “forever home”.

The new community facility will enable open access to the water, improve the amenity for residents and users of Leichhardt Park and Iron Cove, and provide new opportunities for people including people with disabilities to access this unique waterway.

Leichhardt Park provides a unique gateway to Iron Cove for passive water-users, most significantly for rowers with the waters a designated rowing precinct, and the only 2000m rowing course on Sydney Harbour.

Rowing is an extremely liberating sport for people of all walks of life, including people with disabilities.

The tasks now before the Program is to raise the funds to build the facility.

An artist's impression of our proposed boatshed at Leichhardt Park.
An artist’s impression of our proposed boatshed at Leichhardt Park.

Community Rowing Club recognises that programs such as these should not exist in isolation, but be integrated into an entire ‘community’ of rowers, from all cross-sections of our community.

As such, Community Rowing Club seeks to be a community based Rowing Club designed to cater to ALL members of the Community – regardless of ability or background.  

Although we seem ‘new’, we’ve actually been around for over 10 years, as we have searched for a location in Sydney to establish this new club.  Our founders also boast a combined 55 years of experience as rowers, coaches, and administrators of the sport, at both club and state level.

Community Rowing Club Sydney’s goal is to provide an inclusive, open facility for the whole community – from people who have never tried rowing before (or any sport!) and just want to ‘give it a go,’ all the way through to rowers seeking to compete at the highest levels, including representing Australia at the Olympic and Paralympic games.

When our facility is complete, we aim to run:

  • A Para-Rowing program;
  • An indigenous-focused development squad;
  • A Learn to Row program;
  • A Youth program;
  • A Community program – including Club, Masters’ and Recreational Rowers;
  • An Indoor Rowing program;

We have received letters of support for our Community Rowing Club Project from:

  • The Australian Olympic Committee
  • Paralympics Australia
  • Rowing Australia
  • Rowing NSW
  • Inner West Council
  • Invictus Australia
  • Vision Australia
  • The Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council
  • The Lloyd McDermott Rugby Development Team
  • The Hon. John Sharp AM
  • The Hon. Robert Borsak MLC
  • Balmain Rowing Club
  • Leichhardt Rowing Club

No matter where you fit in (and you will), we’re sure you’d enjoy it – come along, we can’t wait to see you!

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