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Commonwealth Games gold medalist Urszula Stanny (Kay) achieved the highest level in rowing at a period in time when women’s rowing was in its infancy.
With few women rowers on the scene in the early days of the sport, Urszula competed in a single scull and against men in regattas.
Urszula started rowing in 1974 with the University of Tasmania Boat Club, won the Intervarsity coxed four in 1975, National Junior pair title in 1976, Interstate women’s coxed four title at King’s Cup Regatta which was held at Penrith, New South Wales, in 1976.
Urszula’s results at both World and National Championships were second to none. In 1986, Urszula was a gold medallist at the Commonwealth Games in the Women’s 8. That year she also received the Sport Australia Award for Outstanding Performance in the Category of Best Single Sporting Performance.
Between 1982-1988, Urszula won various National, Victorian and New South Wales titles in double scull, quad scull, pair, four and eight. From 1983 to 1988, Urszula was a medalist each year in the women’s interstate single scull race for the Nell Slatter trophy.
Urszula won numerous Tasmanian state titles between 1974 and 1986 in scull, pair and the coxed four. The Tasmanian Rowing Council presented Urszula with the Most Outstanding Oarswoman Award in 1985 and 1986.
In 1985 Urszula was a member of the first intake of women into the Australian Institute of Sport.
Urszula went on to coach and in 1989 was the first female to be appointed as a coach of a Tasmania boy’s Head of River crew.
Her coaching successes include various titles at school championships, state championships and winning the Open Boys 8 at the Head of the River for two years in succession. Her first son was born during her second successful season of coaching.
Photo courtesy of The Examiner