Rowing at Sacred Heart College has had three distinct periods since the College embraced the sport in 1936. The first period was 1936 to 1954 when the College was located on the Richmond Rd site. After the move to the Glen Innes site, rowing went into abeyance from 1955 till the second period which lasted from 1970 till 1978. It then went into abeyance again until 1995 – a period that has endured till the present day.
The standard of rowing at New Zealand secondary school level continues to rise and the College has adopted two initiatives to reach those standards. The College has endeavoured to have the boys compete in high class boats and the original four boats of the 1930s have now become 8 eights; 8 fours; 5 doubles. The College also adopted the policy that boats would be named after an aspect of the College’s Catholic Marist Character and, in alternate years, in honour of a person who has given many years of service to Sacred Heart Rowing. Thus the newer boats have been named: Cecilia Fitz-Gerald, Esto Vir and Jim Dale.
The second initiative was to have the College employ a professional coach as Head of Rowing in line with similar positions in the College’s other major sports. Since this policy was adopted Mike Whittaker, Kirsty Dunhill, Mike O'Brien, Greg Reid and Ian Bright have been employed. These two initiatives have allowed the College to be more competitive in regattas throughout the season.
Our connection to Sacred Heart Old Boy rowers is growing, and in the near future a Sacred Oarsman project will see all of our rowers, all the way back to the 1936/37 season issued with a number that will identify them as a Sacred Heart Rower.
Sacred Heart Rowing has the following boats:
Tom Flood - member of the only SHC crew to win Maadi Cup in 1948; past president of Auckland Rowing Association and NZ Rowing Association, also involved in World Rowing Administration and the development of Lake Karapiro as a rowing venue
Al Dryden - rowed with Dudley Storey in the Prince Phillip Challenge Cup in Henley in 1963 which they won. Member of NZ men's eight which came 4th in 1968 Olympics. Past President of Auckland Rowing Club.
Dudley Storey - SHC Old Boy; 1968 Olympic gold medalist coxed four; 1972 Olympic silver medalist coxless four; coached Baradene rowing and often helped coach SHC rowing.
John (Red) Williamson - former Club Captain of Auckland Rowing Club and NZ rowing coach, member of 1978 Karapiro World Rowing Committee; coached SHC teams late 1990s - 2008.
Peter Jansen - member of NZ eight who won silver medal in 1979 World Rowing Championship; SHC Old Boy, 2 sons rowed for SHC; coached for a few years and responsible for the reintroduction of rowing at SHC in the late 1990s
Alex Hos - sons Anthony and Joseph are Old Boys and both rowed; Anthony was Head Prefect and Rowing Captain in 2008; Alex worked tirelessly at maintaining the boats, making sure boat equipment was set correctly for each crew.