Westlake Girls is committed to providing a rowing programme that is :
- A positive, inclusive, collaborative environment.
- Students learning and challenging themselves, taking responsibility for their training and the equipment they use.
- An eight oar based programme with a priority of achieving all age-group eight oar crews in A finals followed by other medal potential boats.
- Priority crews sustaining performances in the top half of the ‘A’ Finals at National Championships.
Westlake Girls attended its first Maadi cup (New Zealand Secondary School Championship) in 1983, with the Westlake Girls Rowing Society established in 1990. Now it its 35th season Westlake Girls rowing has developed a proud history of success in the sports premier events, Westlake Girls has won the Dawn Cup (Girls u18 4+) four times since it was introduced in 1980 (second only on the victory count to Rangi Ruru Girls School who have won the event 14 times!), mostly recently WGHS lifted the trophy in 2014 (alongside victories in 2002, 1990 & 1989). Westlake Girls is one of only 10 schools to have won the Levin Jubilee Cup ( Girls u18 8+) since its introduction to the Maadi event programme in 1981, winning the event in 1989 & 1990. In more recent times Westlake has come close to lifting the trophy, finishing second in the event in 2010 & 2014. Our rowers, past and present, have also gone on to represent New Zealand on the international stage. In recent history former Westlake students have represented NZ in NZ u23 crews (Leah Stanley in 2009 & 2010), NZ u21 crews (Amber Fordham in 2015) & NZ Junior u18 Crews (Sophie Egnot-Johnson in 2018).
Thinking of joining?
Rowing is advertised at Westlake Girls early in Term 2 each year, our returning rowers begin winter training for the sport in late May early July each year. We offer a Learn to row programme from June to September each year, this is available to all year 9-12 students who are interested. This programme teaches students the basics of the rowing stroke and gives them an introduction to the sport, at the completion of the program students will apply to be selected for the summer rowing season. Selection is based on a mix of physical ability, attitude and commitment to the programme. Those successful will be welcomed to our summer Novice (first year rowers) programme in September.
What can you expect from rowing …
Rowing is a unique high intensity sport, and perhaps the ultimate team sport. This means that the girls work together and support each other. While it is important that the girls enjoy their rowing, we also expect them to work hard, be committed and have a good attitude towards each other. The competitive summer rowing season runs from September to March or April depending on the timing of the final regatta for the season (Maadi Cup). Winter training begins late May early June each year, this training is optional & winter commitments take priority through to the end of winter sport. Once winter sport is complete the number of training sessions steadily increase from September to March in preparation for the North Island Secondary Schools Championships (NISS) and for selected girls, the New Zealand Secondary Schools Championships (Maadi Cup Regatta).
For parents, the sport of rowing is also quite demanding, but can be extremely fulfilling. You can expect to be a taxi driver, help out at events and assist in fundraising. Further, the demands of rowing provide healthy challenges to your daughter, so they may need some guidance to become self-reliant in an intense sporting environment. As a parent you will also become a member of a much larger family and develop new friendships with other parents.
If you or your daughter are currently rowing at Westlake Girls – be sure to subscribe to rowing alerts on the school app.
Are you an Old Girl of Westlake girls rowing – be sure to join the our Facebook page.