THE Bunbury Rowing Club has welcomed a new head coach as part of an expansion that is hoped will revamp rowing as the sport of choice for Bunbury athletes.
Officially welcomed on September 1, Cameron Fowler brings with him a range of experience in rowing from representing Australia at the Senior World Championships for Rowing in 2017/18, as well as coaching in various school rowing programs in Perth.
As the new head coach, Fowler hopes to focus on the introduction of rowing into high schools, begin a 'learn to row' program for the community and introduce team building programs for Bunbury businesses.
Twenty-eight-year-old Fowler combines his passion for coaching with a Bachelors Degree in Psychology, which enables him to adapt his coaching style to include both the physical and mental needs of an athlete.
He said his background had definitely given him a different perspective on how to engage with athletes of all ages.
"Nowadays mental health is at the forefront of everyone's minds and is brought into conversation a lot more. My degree enables me to have an understanding of how athletes are coping, not only at the rowing shed but in their day-to-day lives,"
"It's something I incorporate into my coaching; how can I be the best coach to them but also the best mentor? As a coach you need a level of flexibility so you can customise the relationship between coach and athlete to what works for them," Fowler said.
Supported by Bunbury rower Jamie Jones and Perth-based rower Neville Kempton, Fowler said despite not being the most 'technically skilled' rower, his mentors recognised early on that what set him apart was the fact that he was 'tough'.
"That's something I took with me through my whole rowing career," Fowler said.
"What I mean by tough is that rowing is a very physically demanding sport where you can go into an uncomfortable place to get the best out of yourself."
"I reaped the rewards by going that extra mile and putting the extra time in."
Fowler also said there was a real sense of community and belonging in rowing clubs that he hoped to continue to foster as head coach.
"I've made life long friends through my rowing journey, it's definitely a cool community to be a part of."
"I never aspired to be a coach but I just fell in love with it. It allows me to foster my passion and to be given a job that doesn't feel like a job and is something I'm passionate about, it's a dream," Fowler said.
To help promote rowing in Bunbury, the Bunbury Rowing Club is holding 'Learn to Row' sessions on Tuesdays, 4pm to 5.30pm and Saturdays, 8.30am to 10am.
The first session is free with no prior experience required.
To find out more, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.