|7 Aug 2020|
|Old Boy News|
With GPS sports and activities now back in full swing for 2020, after a Term 2 hiatus due to COVID-19, it is perhaps opportune to reflect on an intriguing element of Churchie’s Term 1 success at the Head of the River Championships for Rowing, which was held at Lake Wyaralong on Saturday 14 March.
The intriguing element is the involvement of the Johnston family, more specifically the two sons of Old Boy Scott Johnston (1977). Younger son and current Prefect of the School, Sam was in bow seat of the Churchie First VIII who finished fourth. In direct competition was older brother Lachlan who, as one of the coaches of the winning Brisbane Grammar School First VIII, helped to secure the O’Connor Cup. However, with Churchie securing back to back wins for the Old Boys Cup (awarded for overall points), as Captain of Boats Sam was still able to proudly hold some silverware aloft.
Interestingly Scott was not a Churchie rower, but his father Alan Johnston (1952) was stroke of both the Churchie First IV and First VIII crews in 1952. In 1952 the GPS Head of the River was still only raced in fours. Since Churchie and BBC were the only schools who had eights at the time, after the Head of the River that year they organised an eights race against each other for the Douglas Challenge Cup on Humbug Reach. Churchie won this race which is believed to be the first ever VIII's race along Humbug Reach.
Furthermore, as a Nudgee College student, Lachlan was also not a rower. As a sports scientist working at the Queensland Academy of Sport (2013 - 2019) he progressively started to do more coaching than sports science. He has toured with the Australian Rowing Team (2014 - 2016, 2018-2019) as a sports scientist and was Assistant Coach of the Australian Junior Women's Pair in 2019 (the crew raced at the Junior World Championships). He has also coached crews in the Queensland Rowing Team for the Interstate Regatta at the National Rowing Championships (2018 - Women's Lightweight Quad; 2019 - Men's Lightweight Four).