MILDURA Rowing Club president, Kevin Tankard, with a new quad scull. PICTURE: PAUL MENSCH

By MITCH RODD

NEW Mildura Rowing Club president, Kevin Tankard, has taken over at an interesting time.

While the club boasts one of the most impressive facilities in Victoria and possesses multiple new vessels, the current COVID-19 restrictions mean none of it can be utilised.

With the Murray River tech-nically being part of NSW, restrictions between the two states have meant Victorians are unable to use the river for water sports.

It’s a decision that Tankard, and many others, have been frustrated by.

“The border restrictions have just been stupid, especially as there have been no COVID cases here in Mildura,” he said.

“There’s just been no common sense from politicians who live in the city and have no idea about how our community works.

“There are probably more important things to be worrying about than being able to row, but it’s obviously what our club is about, and I think anyone involved in water sports here are hoping these restrictions will ease sooner rather than later.

“Not really much I can do at the moment, but my main thing will be getting people back rowing once these restrictions are sorted.

“Hopefully water sports can come back with these potential new lighter restrictions but I’d say it’s unlikely.”

Tankard said his main aim in the role was to continue the good work from previous president, Nigel Sullivan, and to keep the club moving forward.

He also hopes to get more rowers to join the club once the ability to use the river is reinstated.

“Really we’re just running the club as best we can in the meantime, even though we can’t even utilise the club for social events or anything,” he said.

“Nigel did a fantastic job and set up the club in a good financial position, and with new facilities as well. I’ve come in at quite a good time really.

“We just got a new quad worth $20,000 which came in last week, and I’m pretty sure that’s the fourth boat we’ve purchased over the last 18 months or so.

“I believe we have the best clubrooms in Australia. I’ve travelled a lot to compete in regattas and seen a number of facilities, and a lot of others who travel here are impressed with ours.

“We’re trying to get more rowers into the club. Obviously it’s hard to do so right now but I’ll be working with our club captain to try and get our learn to row program up and running for the summer.”