About the project


The proposal to establish a new boat shed (JEFF SYKES ROWING CENTRE) on the Barwon River commenced on Monday 15th March with the demolition of the existing Geelong Rowing Association (GRA) shed and construction of a three bay rowing shed for boat racking and facilities above.

The new boat shed, to replace the existing GRA shed, will provide a building for Rowing Geelong to promote and house rowing equipment with associated change rooms, showers and toilets for males, females and coaches, with the majority of the building’s boat space being used for the use (racking) of school boats, belonging to a minimum of 4 local schools, that currently do not have their own facilities on the riverbank. 

Boat space will also be available for an elite/academy or development rowing association duly registered with the State or National rowing body. Short stays by State, National or Overseas Rowing Teams is also a possibility.

The GRA have named the new boat shed the "Jeff Sykes Rowing Centre". 

Jeff has made an enormous contribution to the sport of rowing in Geelong, Victoria, Australia and overseas both on and off the water. Jeff’s on the water history speaks for itself, with Jeff winning medals at World Rowing, Australian and State Championships, including Jeff winning the Presidents Cup (Interstate Mens Sculling) as a lightweight rower.

Jeff developed Sykes Racing into a world class rowing boat provider and the name Sykes is synonymous with rowing in Geelong. Jeff is still very active in the local rowing community.

Jeff is also a significant donor of funds for the building of the new boat shed. 

The GRA is seeking donations for the building of the new shed. Through the GRA's fundraising partnership with the Australian Sports Foundation, donations to the Boatshed project are tax-deductible and can be made here by clicking on the donate button.

The GRA is already holding approximately $950,000 in a special building account, with promises to take this amount to over $1,200,000 as construction commences. This means a multi-use all schools rowing facility in Geelong is a reality. Please help us to have this project completed in 2021.

Please share this page with your members, rowing associates, former members, and anyone who you feel may consider making a donation towards this fantastic enhancement for the sport of rowing in Geelong.

Thank you

Sam Elliott , Brain Digby and Ian Farran

President GRA Inc. Secretary GRA Inc. Treasurer  GRA Inc.

  • Anita Houlihan

    Proud to support a great club and fabulous sport! 🚣🏻

  • Chris Allen

    A great initiative and achievement by Jeff Sykes supported by Geelong Rowing

  • Peter McCormack

    Happy Father's Day Jeff! From Pete, Trish and Jordie

  • Martine and Mark Cooper

    Congratulations Jeff Sykes on your work towards this project to support the development of Rowing in Geelong. A lifetime of Rowing involvement as an Athlete, Business Owner and now as a major supporter of Junior rowing development.

  • Jane Arnold

    What a fabulous project. Jeff continues to prove he is a great supporter of rowing and its development. Thanks for all your support to us! Jane and Graeme x

  • Peter McCormack

    Well done Jeff, what an amazing cause! The completion of the new Jeff Sykes boat shed is very beneficial to the future of rowing in Geelong and surrounding areas.

  • Michael Cave

    Viva Energy is pleased to support the great work of Rowing Geelong.

  • Sally Watt

    This is a brilliant initiative. It has the capacity to provide for introduction, encouragement and participation in rowing for all Geelong students as well as a centre of excellence for the sport. Jeff and Sally Watt

  • Meaghan Field

    Rowing is a great sport, truly oar-inspiring

  • DAVID Yates

    Great initiative - well done

  • Tricia Bulic

    We have a greater responsibility in these times to make sure we create a future that connects us to being healthy; physically, psychologically and spiritually. Rowing along the beautiful Barwon River allows us to meet all of these but most importantly keeps us connected to each other. The Jeff Sykes Rowing Centre is a wonderful acknowledgment of the value that rowing offered in the past, offers now and will, in years to come. Tricia Bulic

  • Richard Page

    Supporting the proud rowing legacy across our community.

  • Chris Allen

    Thank you to those advocating this facility. It is urgently needed and should have been built alongside an Olympic standard rowing course. This is now not possible because of short sighted decisions of a few politicians not only denying the proposal to build such a course and but allowing any future option to be lost by the approval and construction of the Breakwater bridge. The Jeff Sykes Centre will be a fantastic asset to the region.

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