Korowa Anglican Girls’ School is still buzzing after its drought-breaking win in the Year 10 Double Scull in this year’s Head of Schoolgirls Regatta over the weekend.

Year 10 students Abbey and Hannah nervously went in as the favourites in the race, but felt confident that they could take the win…and that they did! The first gold medal for Korowa since 2005!

Hannah (left) and Abbey (right) with their coach Ailish (middle)

“Hannah and Abbey are a talented and driven pair of athletes who have combined with coach Ailish McGrath to advance both physically and technically as a crew. This was rewarded when they won the first HOSG gold for Korowa in 17 years. I hope these girls will add more outstanding results to their rowing resume over their senior rowing journey at Korowa.”
Director of Rowing, Jane Robinson

We sat down with Abbey and Hannah:

When did you start rowing, and what sparked your interest in the sport?

H: I started in Year 7, a bit earlier than most because my older sister rowed. It looked really fun and I wanted to get involved.

A: I started halfway through Hannah’s first season, in Year 8. At Korowa they run a Learn to Row program in Year 8, I loved it. The Juniors needed an extra person so I joined. My parents were also rowers when they were younger.

Why do you enjoy rowing?

H: It’s a really good atmosphere with the coaches and squads. It’s also a really good way to get fit and start every morning!

A: I really enjoy the social aspect as well as the physical side. Each squad is like a little family and we are all so close.

What do you love about rowing for Korowa?

H and A: Korowa isn’t a massive School, so it’s a really close-knit community. Because we are a smaller school we are not always as competitive as some of the larger squads, but we’re all really close including with other year levels.

What is your usual prep for a regatta like Head of Schoolgirls like?

H: We try and keep each other as calm as possible, nerves aren’t good for a race. I like to listen to music to get in the zone.

A: Lots and lots of carbs! We also talk to each other a lot, particularly at the start line to motivate each other and talk about our race plan.

How did it feel to win at HOSG?

H and A: Amazing! We went in as favourites, but we were confident we could do it. We wanted to have the best race we have ever done, which we did. It was really rewarding after all the hard work we put in.

How long have you rowed together, what is that like?

H: We have been in every crew together. Abbey has to put a lot of trust in me, as I steer. We have to trust each other that we’re both going to give it our all.

A: It’s good because we know that we’re both here to row. We both have a commitment and love for the sport.

What’s different about HOSG compared to other regattas?

A: It’s a different atmosphere, it’s so much bigger, there’s more spectators as well.

H: Everyone is there to try and do their best, it’s a really supportive environment. Even other schools will cheer you on.

A: It’s very chilled and fun at the accommodation as well. We all really bond there. Plus, the coaches are Korovians so we get help with our homework which is a bonus!

Any advice for those wanting to give rowing a go?

A: The early mornings put people off, but it’s such a good sport!

H: The early mornings are definitely worth it. They put me in a good mood for the rest of the day. It’s also a way of getting your exercise in, and you might get a medal!