Rowing Australia and Rowing New Zealand today (22 April) announced the 2020 Anzac Day Indoor Rowing Challenge. Set to run from dawn to dusk on 25 April, it will see Australians and New Zealanders come together once again to record 2504m as many times as possible at home on their indoor rowing machines.
Two-time Paralympic silver medallist and five-time world champion, Erik Horrie, said: “The Indoor Rowing Challenge represents an opportunity for our sport, and all Australians, to pay our respects to past and present servicemen and women in this new global climate.
“My partner’s father served, my grandfather served. So this is very close to our family, and a real opportunity to make sure my children understand the significance of their sacrifice. They will all be getting involved.
“What I would say to everyone is that it’s not about how fast you go. What it is about is having fun, getting the family involved, and showing your respect. Australians and New Zealanders are experts at adapting to change, and on Saturday we can do it again.”
Rowing Australia’s Chief Executive, Ian Robson, said: “These are unprecedented times, and we are looking forward to seeing many of those with indoor rowing machines from across our two countries contributing to the challenge and also to our respective charitable organisations.”
Participants are being encouraged to log their metres online and donate to either RSL Australia’s ANZAC Appeal or the Royal New Zealand Returned and Services Association.
“It is also fitting that, as we look to honour our military by rowing this weekend, the Australian War Memorial’s pre-recorded Anzac Day Last Post ceremony will tell the story of South Australian rower, Private Thomas Anderson Whyte of the 10th Battalion AIF, who was killed during the landing at Gallipoli in 1915,” said Robson.
“As Arthur Blackburn wrote of Whyte, ‘it was largely due to the courage and endurance of Tom and his fellow rowers in all the boats that everyone was landed with the minimum of loss’. Rowing is intrinsically linked to the Anzacs, and we’re honoured to play our part in recognising the importance of Anzac Day.”
Rowing New Zealand’s Chief Executive, Simon Peterson, added: “As with all New Zealanders and Australians, our athletes are facing challenging times, and we are incredibly proud of their commitment to honour Anzac Day within our respective lockdown restrictions.
“Whilst we are saddened normal commemorations are unable to take place this year, we are humbled to have the New Zealand and Australian rowing communities joining us in honouring our defence forces.”
Participants in the 2020 Anzac Day Indoor Rowing Challenge can log their metres here, with the country who recorded the most 2504m per participant to be announced on Sunday.
They are also encouraged to share photos of themselves using the hashtags #AnzacAtHome #TYFYS #StandAtDawn and #AnzacDay2020.
By Rowing Australia and Paralympics Australia
Photo with thanks to Rowing Australia