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Portrait of YWCA rowers outside Gardner's boatshed, Sydney

Date: 1930s
107 x 82 mm
Medium: Silver gelatin, paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from the Trixie Whaling Estate
Object Name: Photograph
Object No: 00042422

User Terms

    This portrait of the Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA) rowing team depicts fifteen of its members seated cross legged in two rows outside Gardner's boat shed. An older man seated behind them is possibly the coach.
    SignificanceThis photograph of the YWCA Women's Rowing Club is important in documenting the activities of this and other clubs in the years prior to WWII.
    HistoryWomen's amateur rowing in New South Wales dates back to 1909 when Alice Bentley formed a women's swimming and rowing club at Rushcutters Bay. As conditions proved too rough for regular rowing the club moved to Kemp's boatshed at Abbottsford (now Sydney High School Boathouse) and the Western Suburbs Ladies Rowing Club was formed. By the 1920s the club was renamed Sydney Ladies Rowing Club, and then the Sydney Women's Rowing Club. This was the sole amateur women's rowing club in New South Wales until 1929 when the YWCA Rowing Club was formed followed by the Balmain and Abbotsford clubs. In 1920 an Interstate Women's race was contested in conjunction with the King's Cup and the Australian Women's Rowing Council was formed.

    The 1920s and 30s were big decades for women rowers as more women joined the workforce and women's team sports became popular. The 'lady rowers' of the early part of the century eventually emerged as popular women's teams in the 1920s and 30s. This period saw a boom in women's rowing through the formation of amateur associations, the successful staging of national sporting events and the increased coverage of women's sport in the national press.

    Additional Titles

    Assigned title: YWCA Women's Rowing team group photo

    Collection title: Trixie Whaling rowing memorabilia

    Web title: Portrait of YWCA rowers outside Gardner's boatshed, Sydney

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