The Rowing Club Gym

The current rowing club building was built on years of volunteer work. Delivering yellow pages, cake sales, labouring and so on until the Club had enough money to buy the current building, in kit set form. Members worked to save $40,000 in 1990, to buy the kitset. A big thanks to past (and some current!) members for their efforts and paying-it-forward.

The club members then put the kit set together. Over the years, concrete was added piecemeal as members scrapped and borrowed leftover concrete pours from builds around Wellington.

So when we got our biggest room back, it was time to dig into that tradition. About 200 hours of labour was needed to renovate and paint the room. Old ply and gib in the attic was used to reduce renovation costs. You can see the development in photos below.

A big thanks to Jono and Tony Debabge, Tony Tikiku, Albie Albiston and Nick Teare for making this happen over many weeks.

All members now have access to a great training room. Future plans include painting the floor (to seal in concrete dust), making a trophy cabinet in the alcove and getting more gym equipment including weights and spin cycles.


2021. The photos below show the old gym – which was in the kitchen. We were using a dangerous bench press and squat rack that needed people spotting and watching. It was hard to re-rack and there were no safety bars to catch the weights if someone lost control.

The rowing ergs (not shown) were also stuffed under the boats in the bays, and water would drip onto and have damaged the ergs.

2021. Our biggest room was being used by another club, which we had given 5 years to move out. The returned room was left in a damaged state. Boats from this guest-club were racked and water had dripped down the walls – the lower panels of gib were like tissue paper. These panels (and a few others) needed to be removed. Holes patched and plastered. We decided to wait until the season had finished and fix this in 2022.

Winter 2022. Over about 3 months we pulled out gib, cleaned behind the walls, installed builders paper and electical wiring. Old gib and plywood was used and we had to buy some more, along with paint etc to get the room back to a healthy state.

The finished gym! There are some bits and peices to do, and we’ll chip away as time and money allow. Thanks to all the volunteers who helped!