Rotary fulfils rowing dreams

(L-R) Damien Hynes (Williamstown Rotary), Glenn Preusker (West Footscray Rotary), Molly Strachan, Warwick Burnham (West Footscray Rotary) , Layla Carrodus, Roger Clime (President West footscray Rotary). Stephanie Patterson, Sylvie Ward, Indiana Beattie. (Supplied)

Footscray High School has received a $3000 donation from West Footscray and Williamstown Rotary clubs, to purchase quad oars to be used in their rowing program.

The school is one of only four public schools in the state which runs a rowing program, primarily using the equipment from the Footscray City Rowing Club.

Head of Rowing teacher Stephanie Patterson, said the students were responsible for approaching the rotaries.

“The students reached out and listed all of the reasons they needed the support, all of the liaising was done by the students through email,” she said.

“They put their case forward and eventually the rotaries got in contact with me to verify everything.”

The program is now in its second year, currently with 19 students in the program.

“This donation will benefit those kids as well as every future Footscray High School student that comes through.”

Ms Patterson said the school had decided to begin the program because of the large amount of community interest.

“We had many local families tell us how much they would appreciate a rowing program, being so close to the river it only made sense.

“Everyone is beyond excited and proud to have rowing offered to the students when it is not a common program.

“We are hoping it will entice future enrolments as we are able to bridge the gap between public and private education and offer an equal opportunity for all.

Williamstown Rotarian Damien Hynes said the club is happy to be involved.

“We are happy to support schools and students who embark on new initiatives and adventures,” he said.

Jennifer Pittorino