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 for 2023 Special Interest Rowing are now closed. 

If you have any questions please contact Daniel Ralph daniel.ralph286@schools.sa.edu.au


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

Students in the Rowing Program are encouraged to join the UHS Rowing Club.