Unley High School (UHS) is one of only three public schools in Adelaide who offer rowing as a school sport, along with Adelaide High School and Norwood-Morialta High School. The UHS Boathouse is located on the southern side of the Torrens River, three boathouses eastward of the Morphett Street Bridge. This facility is shared with Norwood-Morialta High School. UHS also has access to a boatshed at West Lakes, which we share with Adelaide High School and Norwood-Morialta High School.


Regattas are conducted mainly at West Lakes, although occasionally at the Torrens Lake, Murray Bridge, Mannum, Renmark, Berri, and Port Adelaide are used as regatta venues. Rowing regattas take place during Terms 1 and 4 each year. It is possible to participate in other sports at the same time, but efficient time management becomes very important. Students are encouraged to participate in a different sporting activity during Terms 2 and 3. The rowing season culminates in the Head of the River (HOR) Regatta at West Lakes at the end of March or the beginning of April each year.


For many years now Unley High School has been one of the largest rowing schools in the state and is well represented at weekly regattas throughout the summer season.

We have also had many students go on to represent both South Australia and Australia over the club’s 40 year history.

Special Interest Rowing Applications

Applications are now open for current year 6 students to apply for a place in our Special Interest Rowing Program in 2023

Application Form

Please Complete this Application Form 

and submit to  Anita Hughes – Year 7 / 8 Rowing teacher anita.hughes64@schools.sa.edu.au

Selection Process

Thursday April 7                Unley High School Rowing Information Presentation Evening

Friday April 8                     Application form available for access via Unley HS Website

Tuesday May 3                  Come and Try Rowing Sessions commence

Sunday May 22                 Come and Try Rowing Sessions conclude

Monday May 23                Application form deadline

Selection Criteria

Prospective students will be selected based on the following.

  • Attendance at Unley HS Rowing Information Presentation (refer to the schedule below)
  • Attendance at two or more Come and Try Sessions demonstrating (refer to the schedule below)
    • A willingness to learn,
    • Active participation in the session,
    • Basic fitness and hand-eye coordination
  • A recent school report
  • Reference from current Primary School Teacher (Unley HS will make contact with teachers where necessary)
  • Completion of the questions on the application form

Introductory Sessions

Unley High School Rowing Information Presentation Session

Families (nominated student and at least one Parent/Carer) are asked to attend one of the two sessions schedule on Thursday 7th April in the Unley High School Fitness Centre (Entry and parking  via Gate 1.)

Students are asked to arrive in suitable clothing for physical activity to their nominated session.

The sessions will include;

  • A Presentation including an overview of the Unley HS Rowing Program and Selection Process (this will be held between 4:30-5pm)
  • Practical introduction session where students will learn the basic rowing technique, basic terminology and safety using our equipment.

Students are asked to arrive in suitable clothing for physical activity to their nominated session.

Please note that due to COVID guidelines it is anticipated that Carer/s will not be able to be inside the Fitness Centre while the students complete the off-water rowing introduction and will be asked to remain outside during this time.

To nominate for these sessions please use the form here and submit it to anita.hughes64@schools.sa.edu.au If you are unable to attend your nominated  session, please contact anita.hughes64@schools.sa.edu.au and we will look to into offering an alternative date or a recording of the initial presentation.


School Week Date Time
Term 1, Week 10 Thursday 7th April 3:45-5.00pm
Thursday 7th April 4:30-5:45pm


On-Water ‘Come and Try’ Sessions

Students are asked to attend at least 2 of the ‘Come and Try’ sessions at the Unley High School Torrens Boatshed (located here )

These sessions will include.

  • Practical on-water experiences under the supervision of Unley HS Coaches and rowers
  • Introduction to rowing terminology and boat-handling processes

Students are asked to arrive in suitable clothing for physical activity to their nominated sessions.

To nominate/register for two of these sessions please use the form here. It is advised that individual ‘Come and Try’ sessions are booked more than a week apart.

If you are unable to attend a nominated session OR cannot attend any of the sessions below, please contact anita.hughes64@schools.sa.edu.au.


School Week Date Time
Term 2, Week 1 Tuesday 3rd May 8:15-10am
Thursday 5th May 8:15-10am
Sunday 8th May 9-10:30am
Sunday 8th May 10:30-12pm
Term 2, Week 2 Tuesday 10th May 8:15-10am
Thursday 12th May 8:15-10am
Sunday 15th May 9-10:30am
Sunday 15th May 10:30-12pm
Term 2, Week 3 Tuesday 17th May 8:15-10am
Thursday 19th May 8:15-10am
Sunday 22nd May 9-10:30am
Sunday 22nd May 10:30-12pm

Practical sessions on the Torrens

Each year level has one rowing practical per week which is conducted on the Torrens River. This session occurs during their rowing class double lesson and is facilitated by experienced and qualified coaches and the rowing class teacher.

Class members catch a private bus from school at 7:40am on the day of their session and return to school by bus during recess.

Students are also involved in practical fitness sessions at school including ergo sessions and Pilates.


Theory classes

The program teaches students a wide range of theory concepts associated with rowing as well as health concepts from the schools HPE curriculum.

The concepts taught in each year level are:

  • Year 7 & 8: Scull rowing technique, boat handling skills, fitness for rowing, rules, etiquette and race preparation as well as the UHS Year 8 Health course.
  • Year 9: Development of rowing technique, training principles, body systems and fitness, nutrition as well as the UHS Year 9 Health course.
  • Year 10: Further development of rowing technique (students studying Rowing in the second semester of Year10 will begin to learn sweep rowing), exercise physiology, coaching principles, drugs in sport and fitness.
Rowing Club Training

There are usually two to three training sessions each week. Other fitness activities, such as work on the rowing machines (ergos), running, and strength training are highly encouraged.

Training sessions for Year 7 and 8 rowers are held at the Torrens River. Students who train after school usually travel to training on the 172 bus straight after school and during the first few weeks of training, fellow rowers or coaches will accompany them. Parents or caregivers are required to arrange transport home from training, which usually concludes at 6:00pm.

It is a myth that all rowers need to get up at 5am each morning. At Unley High School, morning training does not occur until the senior years.

Course Information

2022 Course Availability

The course will have a maximum intake of 18 students (1 class) or 32 students (2 classes) at Year 7 and Year 8 in 2022. Acceptance into this program requires a high commitment to be successful in the curriculum aspect of the program which will continue until the end of Semester 1 of Year 10.


Year 7: Materials and Service fee and subject charges applicable to the year level plus an extra $450 subject charge for Specialist Rowing.

Year 8 and 9: Materials and Service fee and subject charges applicable to the year level plus an extra $500 subject charge for Specialist Rowing.

Year 10: Materials and Service fee and subject charges applicable to the year level plus an extra $250 subject charge for each semester of Specialist Rowing.

This charge covers all compulsory elements of the course, including the cost of consumables, coaches, transport, minor equipment (repairs and replacement) etc.

Association with UHS Rowing Club

It is expected that the students in the Rowing Program join the UHS Rowing Club. It needs to be noted that Rowing Club Membership is optional, however it will be difficult to achieve success within the Special Entry Rowing Program without membership.

  • UHS Rowing Club Membership: $510*
  • Uniform: $95*
  • Camps x 2: Approximately $260* each (optional but encouraged)

*Fees are based on current projections for the 2022/23 rowing season