Technique Talk: Meet Lisa Bates

Let’s get to know Lisa Bates from the Melbourne Argonauts, Australia’s first gay and lesbian rowing club and one of only a handful of independent LGBTI rowing clubs in the world.

How did you become involved with the Argos?

“I moved to Australia 10 years ago, and wanted a way of meeting new people. I spotted the Argos had a Learn to Row coming up and had always wanted to give rowing a try, so I signed myself up. I was soon going to the weekly Saturday morning social rowing and eventually found myself racing in a crew. I still recall ‘crabbing’ in my first race (digging the oar in too much) and feeling mortified, but 9 years later i’m hooked – still here, coaching, racing and organising our annual Trivia night!”

What is your personal aim this season?

“I have to chose just one? To get rowing fit after 8 months off, win some bling, support the crews i’m coaching to achieve their aims and continue to enjoy the company of the Argos on and off the water!”

What is your favourite position in the boat?

“I enjoy stroking the boat (so to speak) – being the person at the front who sets the pace, but also the bow person who steers the course and makes the ‘calls’ throughout the race. I’m ambi-seated. (Fortunately in a single you don’t need to choose)”


What training drill do you dread the most?

“We sometimes get people to do ‘feet-out’ rowing. It helps with technique and stops you pulling with your arms (rowing is all about legs people!), but there’s always that fear you’ll pull too hard and go flying backwards.”

What has been your biggest achievement with the Argos?

“I loved 2013 when I trained through the Melbourne winter in a quad with 3 other fabulous female rowers, and we went to Antwerp to compete in the Outgames (with over 20 other Argonauts). I also raced the double and single and the whole club came home with over 30 medals. It was a proud moment, competing for Australia!”

Why would you suggest people get involved with the Argos?

“The Argonauts isn’t just a rowing club – it’s a family that embraces anyone, regardless of their age or sporting prowess. I’ve been lucky enough to be surrounded by some fabulous people over the recent years. We have shared ups and downs (the downs mostly at 6am when you’re breaking the ice on the lake), but overall it’s a club that helps you realise your own dreams – whether they are to be a part of the queer community, to get fit or to win some medals at a state or national level.”

If you want to see how much fun the Argos have off-water, come to our annual trivia night on the 12th September. Bookings essential

If you would like more information on The MelbourneArgonauts you can contact them from their Team Melbourne club page.

For more stories like Lisa’s check out the Team Melbourne news feed and feel the passion members have for their clubs and teams.

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