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

2024 Special Interest Rowing Applications

Applications for 2024 Special Interest Rowing are now open. 

The Unley High School Rowing Program is one of the largest rowing programs in South Australia, offering rowing to over 140 students in Years 7-12. Complementing our School Rowing Program, the School provides the opportunity for Students to extend their participation in rowing through the “Health & Physical Education – Rowing” Class.

The “Health & Physical Education – Rowing” Classes follow the Australian Curriculum Standard for Health and Physical Education with a primary focus on Rowing but do also include a variety of non-rowing topics (i.e mental health, SHINE, etc.).

At Year 7/8 level the classes serve as an introduction that allows students to try out rowing and begin learning the basics of the sport. As they progress through the years, they have an opportunity to develop their skills and advance in the sport. The 3 rowing lessons each week generally consist of 1 theory, 1 fitness and a double practical rowing lesson at the Torrens. The lessons are matched to the Australian Curriculum Standards for Health and PE.

Applications forms can be found here:
(Unley HS – Year 7 2024 Special Interest Rowing Application Form).

Further information can be found here:

Unley High School – 2023 Rowing Information

Come and Try Sessions

Thursday April 6, 2023 (Week 10, Term 1) 8:30-10:15am @ the Torrens Boatshed

Thursday April 13, 2023 (Week 11, Term 1) 8:30-10:15am @ the Torrens Boatshed

Wednesday April 19, 2023 (School Holidays) 4-6pm @ the Torrens Boatshed

Wednesday April 26, 2023 (School Holidays) 4-6pm @ the Torrens Boatshed

Tuesday May 2, 2023 (Week 1, Term 2) 8:30-10:15am @ the Torrens Boatshed

Tuesday May 9, 2023 (Week 1, Term 2) 8:30-10:15am @ the Torrens Boatshed

Families can sign up for the Come and Try Sessions here


If you have any further questions please contact Daniel Ralph dl.0797.rowing@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.