Around 460 people attended the Fundraising Dinner on 26th June for New South Wales athletes in the Junior and U23 Teams. The dinner, held at the Steve Waugh Room at the SCG was a joint effort of the Parent’s Organizing Committee and Rowing NSW (represented by Director Chris Noel). Lots of guests, raffles and open and silent auctions plus wonderful support for our athletes from NSWIS and the Bromley Trust meant the balance required to pay seat fees for all nine athletes was easily achieved.

Thanks to a dynamic Parents’ Committee which included Rebecca Wilson, Jo and Rob Wheatley, Jeremy and Jeromine Alpe, Belinda Gunton, Bronwyn and Peter Bernerius, Trudy and Jim Snelson, and Michelle and Jim Wright we were able to get together quickly both the number of guests and the prizes necessary to raise the funds required.

The Parents’ Committee very generously included our two NSW U23 reps, Sasha Belonogoff and Ed de Carvalho, in the night. As these athletes were training interstate this support was particularly invaluable. For one of the first times in many many years we were able to include all NSW Junior and U23 athletes in the one fundraiser.

On the night we were well supported by some legends of Australian Sport – Dawn Fraser, who brought along some valuable memorabilia and Raelene Boyle and Libby Trickett who formed our athlete’s panel for the evening. The night was hosted and coordinated by MC Tony Squires. Tony had only just that day flown back from the World Cup in South Africa and the organizing committee was extremely grateful that Tony was able to battle jetlag and attend the dinner. Colin Smith, the President of Rowing Australia flew in from Melbourne to attend and wish our representatives well for their 2010 tours.

Many sponsors assisted with auction and raffle prizes. Thanks to all those companies who supported rowing and to the school communities who supported the boys in the Junior Team, These included Shore School, Scots College and Cranbrook. Also thanks to the rowing clubs who put their efforts into arranging guests for the dinner – in particular Mosman Rowing Club, Sydney Rowing Club and Sydney University Boat Club.

The junior athletes from NSW, Jack Alpe, Michael Bernerius, Tom Gunton, Tom Sacre, Louis Snelson, Nick Wheatley and Aaron Wright will represent Australia at the 2010 Junior World Championships at Racice, Czech Republic from 4-7th August.

U23 athletes from NSW are Sasha Belonogoff (U23 Quad) and Ed de Carvalho in the U23 Lightweight Double Scull. Sasha won bronze in this boat in 2009 at the U23 Worlds and bronze in 2008 as Junior in the double scull. This is Ed’s first time representing Australia. The U23 World Championships will be held in Brest, Belarus from 22-25th July.

Our photo shows guests enjoyng pre-dinner drinks on the Sydney Cricket Ground