St Hilda’s and Scotch Rowing Partnership

St Hilda’s and Scotch College have entered a partnership which will see the St Hilda’s Rowing Program re-locate…

St Hilda’s and Scotch College have entered a partnership which will see the St Hilda’s Rowing Program re-locate to the Scotch Boat Shed on Freshwater Bay from 2023.

For over 20 years we have enjoyed a strong partnership with Hale School, however, the opportunity for our crews to row closer to home has been part of the School’s strategic agenda for many years. We explored many options and believe that this partnership will deliver us long-term benefits that secures us a permanent ‘home-base’ for our Rowing Program.

St Hilda’s has a proud history of rowing for nearly 40 years. With currently over 100 girls involved in the program from Years 9 to 12, it has enjoyed enormous success this year with impressive participation in our Year 8 Learn to Row Program.

Rowing has always had strong support from our community and many of our young Old Scholars continue to be involved as coaches.  The exceptional leadership of our Head of Rowing, Sam O’Connell, has seen our numbers continue to increase and our rowers achieving great results in the annual IGSSA, Inter-House Rowing regattas and Head of the River. A number of our girls also compete at a national level.

The Scotch Boat Shed is located one kilometre from our Bay View campus and will offer the girls more time on the water and more efficient movements back to campus after training. It will commence renovations to upgrade the facilities and access to the water.

Working in partnership with Scotch, Dr O’Connell and I have engaged in the appointment of a Head of Rowing who will oversee both Rowing Programs, commencing initially at Scotch next semester and then embracing oversight of both programs when our Year 8 Learn to Row Program commences in Term 4.  Paul Bolton has been appointed as the Scotch/St Hilda’s Head of Rowing. He will be a familiar face as he is currently one of our coaches. Paul led the Rowing Program at Trinity College over the last ten years, coaching all levels from Year 7 to the 1st Eight. During this time, Paul also coached the Australian Junior Men’s Pair, the Western Australian King’s Cup Men’s Eight, the WA Penrith Cup Lightweight Men’s Four, the WA Men’s Youth Eight, the WA Schoolboys’ Pathway Eight and the St Hilda’s 1st Eight.

Paul will oversee our combined Rowing Program to provide maximum training time and access to facilities for the girls and boys. Our current Head of Rowing Sam will continue at St Hilda’s under the direction of Paul as Assistant Head of Rowing.

St Hilda’s has always maintained a strong relationship with Scotch, recognising that we share many families. We look forward to working with Scotch to bring this partnership to fruition.

Fiona Johnston