The Rowsellas ready to fly as a team is born

"VAN" (Sports Desk - 09.07.2024) :: Australian rowing has never had a team name at any stage of its decorated history on the international stage, which dates back to the late 1800s. Now the 37-strong Olympic team and eight-strong Paralympic team will be the first athletes to race under the Rowsellas banner after the name was officially launched on Tuesday.

The Rowsellas emerged on top after a nationwide competition to name the team, followed by extensive work to refine the brand and concept with athlete leaders, major stakeholders, rowing alumni and the experts at Sport Design Australia, who have worked with the likes of the Matildas, Sydney Swans, Brisbane Broncos, Netball Australia and Supercars.

The result is a uniquely Australia name and icon that encapsulates the speed, grace and precision of rowing that will be proudly worn by generations of athletes to come. It will apply only to senior Australian teams, ensuring the title carries prestige and acts as an inspiration for young rowers.

“It’s pretty cool (for the team) to be finally named the Rowsellas. It’s pretty special to have our Men, Women and Paras all under one name and one branding. That’s really united,” said Kendall Brodie, who coxes the Australian Men’s Eight.

“The speed and agility of the Rosella is pretty similar to how I feel in the Men’s Eight when we are at peak speed. I’ve got to hold on tight because it feels like I’m flying, so it’s a really fitting name for the team.”

Rowsellas teammate Sarah Hawe, from the Women’s Eight, said she hopes the Australian public will embrace the nickname and cheer the Aussies on in Paris.

“I think it’s great the public has something to cheer for,” Hawe said. “A lot of big sporting teams have mascots… the Dolphins, the Matildas… so for rowing to now come into that space is really exciting.”

World Champions (PR3 Mixed Double Scull) Nikki Ayers and Jed Altschwager were among the first to wear the name and logo at their training base in Adelaide, where they are preparing for the Paralympic Games in Paris from August 28.

“This is such a proud moment because not only do we get to be the first Paralympians to race as Rowsellas, we are part of the first cohort of athletes who can set the standard and culture for the name and build that genuine meaning and history,” Ayers said.

“That is a great honour and responsibility and we can’t wait to take flight in Paris in a few months as part of the Rowsellas.”

Rowing Australia Chief Executive Officer Sarah Cook OLY said it was a defining day for the sport and thanked everyone involved in the creation of the Rowsellas identity.

“Rowing has a long and distinguished history in Australia, so creating a name, identity and logo from scratch took an enormous amount of input and buy-in from people right across the sport, from administrators, coaches, the athletes and of course the fans, who submitted hundreds of ideas for the team name,” Cook said.

“The enthusiasm was overwhelming, which shows how much the Australian Rowing Team - the Rowsellas - mean to our community. We hope we have rewarded them with a name and icon they can get behind and our athletes can represent with pride and distinction.”

The winner of the name competition will be featured on the Rowing Australia website in coming days and receive a grand prize pack that includes signed Rowsellas gear and tickets to the gala Rower of the Year Awards.


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