Local rowers and coach claim major awards at Gala Night

Award winners Tara Rigney, Jess Morrison OAM, Annabelle McIntyre OAM, John Keogh.  Photo supplied.

Four locally based rowers and one coach were among the top award winners last Friday night (17th November), as Rowing Australia honoured its Patron Mrs Gina Rinehart AO with the inaugural Service to Rowing Award.

The Australian rowing community gathered at the Canberra Rex Hotel to celebrate a busy 2023 and look forward to 2024 and both the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Paris.

Mrs Rinehart’s award honours a member of the rowing community who has made a significant and enduring contribution to the sport and was presented by Rowing Australia President Rob Scott.

“We could not think of a more fitting inaugural winner than Mrs Rinehart, who has been such a passionate and generous supporter of our sport for many years and will be for many years to come,” Rowing Australia Chief Executive Officer Sarah Cook OLY said.

Mrs Rinehart would also be on hand to present two of the Rowing Leadership awards named in her honour, with World Championships Bronze Medallist Tara Rigney (Single Sculls) revealed as the female winner.

The female Crew of the Year went to the Women’s Pair of Jess Morrison OAM and Annabelle McIntyre OAM, who won a Silver Medal at the World Rowing Championships and twin Gold Medals at the World Rowing Cups.Award winners Tara Rigney, Jess Morrison OAM, Annabelle McIntyre OAM, John Keogh.  Photo supplied

Women’s Head Coach John Keogh was unveiled as Coach of the Year..

“This was a night where we can not only celebrate the achievements of our elite athletes and coaches but the volunteers, officials, community clubs and those who have dedicated a lifetime to helping our sport be the best it can be,” Cook said.

“We thank and acknowledge all of the nominees and winners and look forward to celebrating again next year in the wake of what we know will be an unforgettable Olympic and Paralympic Regatta in Paris.”

Gina Rinehart AO Rowing Leadership Award: Tara Rigney; Retiree: Georgia Nesbitt (7 times national champion); Female Crew of the Year: Women’s Pair: Jessica Morrison OAM, Annabelle McIntyre OAM; Coach of the Year: John Keogh.