In our third instalment of Waikato Wāhine in Rowing, we connected with the lovely Ann Edmondson. She is currently the club secretary and has been an active member of the club since 2015, shortly after moving to NZ from the UK.
Ann has been involved in rowing for many years, as an athlete and in various club administration roles. The rowing achievements she is most proud of are when she stroked the Hollingworth Lake RC eight at the 2005 women’s heads race on the Thames in London, and the mixed master’s quad that still holds the category record for 50km Lincoln to Boston. Ask her about that 50km race when you meet her. She has some interesting stories and can share with you just how much training goes into preparing for racing over 50km.
While in the UK she spent several seasons as treasurer, vice-captain, and later as regatta control. Regatta control often meant lost sleep and trying to figure excel formulae. Here in New Zealand, she continues to support her club on the water as well as off.
Te Awamutu Rowing Club is a small club, and it is easy for some to wear a few hats. Ann is no different in that regard. As the club secretary, she is pretty much the main administrator and chief communicator. Making sure everyone knows what is going and those that need to make decisions have the info they need. On the water you will find her paddling the single or coaching. As the women’s masters organiser she is often out teaching women of all ages who have never been in a boat before to row and scull.
Te Awamutu is probably one of a few clubs in the region who have volunteer coaches. Ann also helps with the school program for Te Awamutu College. For those she coaches it is not just about refining their technique on the water, her role also includes sharing her wisdom and life advice with the young athletes.
For those women out there considering taking up rowing or getting involved in the club, you will often hear her say "Just give it go. You may enjoy it and have some fun".
When talking with a few long serving members of the Club, they are complementary of Ann’s contribution and grateful that she is doing her part to keep the club going in these challenging times. Some may even go as far to say she spends far too much time there. However, she may
disagree and share that she does it to be part of the community and witness how those who were once novices become confident athletes.