The Avon Rowing Club traces its origins back to the formation of the Trades Rowing Club in 1881, and its change of name to Avon in 1884. However, there is evidence of the club winning trophies as early as 1868. As the original name of ‘Trades’ denotes, the first members were drawn from the ranks of young artisans and mechanics of the era. At this time, moves were being made to form the NZ Amateur Rowing Association which was finally established in 1887. However, the new NZ Association adopted the rules and regulations of the Amateur Rowing Association from England, which specifically excluded ‘artisans and mechanics’ from racing as amateurs. It is for this reason that a ‘Trades’ rowing club would not be acceptable, and the club’s name was subsequently changed to Avon after the river they rowed on.
The Avon Rowing Club has never lost its affiliation to its working class beginnings. Perhaps the greatest character of our club resides in the tremendous spirit of its members. From the earliest time all have been prepared to do their very best in any task that confronted them, and to carry it out with generous goodwill and unmatched comradeship, features which still tie together Avon members, past and present.
The success of the Avon Rowing Club can be inextricably linked to these basic values. We go forward confident that in changing and sometimes difficult times, the same spirit will carry the Club successfully and happily into the future.