Bruce McCarthy who works tirelessly behind the scenes has just been awarded a life membership to Bundaberg Rowing.
Bruce McCarthy who works tirelessly behind the scenes has just been awarded a life membership to Bundaberg Rowing. RON BURGIN

Giving all to Bundaberg rowing

THE true standing of a sports club is dependent on the quality of its administration.

Bruce McCarthy is well aware of this, hence his involvement with the Bundaberg Rowing Club since 1999 on a purely administrative level.

He has hopped in a boat on a few social occasions, but left the serious rowing to his daughter – national champion Emma McCarthy.

“It’s the kids who roped us into the club. But we know that in a club you need to support it and do the work, so that’s all I’m doing,” McCarthy said.

The modest volunteer was treasurer until the recent AGM, where he became vice-president and was awarded a life membership.

“It’s a great honour and I suppose it means I have been doing something right in my time here, but at the end of day I’ve just got in and done the work,” he said.

That work has included maintaining the high standard of the Bucca rowing facility, which was midway through construction when McCarthy arrived 10 years ago.

Since that time he has ensured it remains one of the top 10 courses in Australia.

Outgoing club vice-president and head coach John Bigg praised McCarthy for all he had contributed to the sport.

“He may not have been on the water, but it takes someone very dedicated to maintain the administration side of the club,” Bigg said.

“Bruce has done a lot of hard work over the years and often goes unnoticed, but he thoroughly deserves the life membership and is a big reason why Bucca and Bundaberg rowing is in such great shape.”

The level three-accredited course is able to hold national championships, and McCarthy said that “with a bit of work” it would be capable of hosting a World Cup event.

In Australia, there is only one course in Sydney and another in Tasmania currently at that level.

Just this year, Bucca hosted the biggest Queensland secondary school regatta in history, and crews will descend on Bundaberg today ahead of this weekend’s Queensland Open Championships. And add to these the annual Bundaberg schools’ regatta series and many training appearances from Australia’s top rowers.

“It’s a top course and rightfully acknowledged as one by the country’s best,” McCarthy said.



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