The Balmain Para-Rowing Program is both delighted and humbled to be able to announce the generous donation received by the Primary Club of Australia of funds for the purchase of our first racing para double / pair!
The Primary Club of Australia
Who are the Primary Club of Australia, you say? Well – the Primary Club of Australia is registered charity founded in 1974. The fundamental aim of The Primary Club of Australia is to give people with disabilities the opportunity to experience the joy and exhilaration that comes from any form of physical activity. Money is raised via a number of social events for their members and guests as well as members paying “fines” (as an optional donation) for every Golden Duck scored by an Australian player in test matches, one-day and twenty20 internationals during the previous year.
The name comes from the Primary Club, a charity that was formed in England over 50 years ago. A “primary” is a first ball dismissal in cricket—what is called a “golden duck” in Australia, as depicted in their logo. Their Twelfth Man and Patron is Mark Taylor AO, former Australian Test Cricket Captain. His appointment was announced in 2015 following the passing of former Twelfth Man, (and legend) Richie Benaud OBE in April, 2015.
100% of tax deductible donations to the Primary Club reach the charities they support. The President of the Primary Club is Jim Maxwell.
The ‘Path to the Pair’
Our first International Para-Athlete, Jeremy McGrath made his international debut racing in the Mixed PR3 (then LTA) double scull at the World Championships in 2014 – in that year the crew of Jeremy and Kate Murdoch (Nepean RC) took home a silver medal. With the expansion of the Balmain Para-Program, we now have multiple athletes in the PR3 and PR2 categories who are now looking to compete in that boat class, and, given the innovative racing format in Rowing NSW regattas (and in the JB Sharp Winter regatta series), there are now also increased opportunities to race ‘inclusive’ double sculls, including one para athlete with one non-para athlete in the same boat.
Further, as of this year a new PR3 category, the coxless pair, has now been included in the international para-rowing race format. This event is unique to para-rowing, in that it is the only crew boat which is not mixed-gender, opening up a range of additional crew combinations for both male and female PR3 athletes alike. It also provides for multiple racing opportunities for PR3 athletes, which is something we applaud, though we would also encourage the inclusion of additional boat classes for PR2 and PR1 athletes also.
As you can see, there is certainly a need for a double / pair in our program, and we have contacted the fabulous boat-builders at Resolute Adaptive to supply us with a top-spec double / pair, which will be suitable for competition in the PR3 and PR2 mixed doubles, as well as the PR3 pair.
Thank you again to the wonderful generosity of the members and board of the Primary Club of Australia for their incredible support!