We have a fantastic team of coaches at Mercantile with years of experience at the elite level. In fact, Mercantile has more coaches than any club in Australia. This means that you will be guided to develop as an athlete, and perform at your best to ensure you are able to make the most of the representative opportunities that Rowing Victoria and Rowing Australia offer.
Above is club member and VIS Head Coach Bill Tait with his silver medal winning pair in London.
Simon Gadsden is currently the Head Coach of Mercantile. He has a long history of involvement with Mercantile, having rowed himself in the elite program, and became a member of the club in 1995.
Simon joined the Mercantile coaching team following four years as the State Talent Pathway Coordinator for Rowing Australia. In this position, Simon coordinated and oversaw the largest number of Victorian athletes on underage national teams in 2013 and 2014; coached one of the members of the Junior Men’s Double in 2013 to 6th at the Junior World Championships; and also took on the position of Acting Senior Coach at the VIS in 2012.
In 2014, Simon took on the role of National Head Coach of the Australian Under 21 Team, leading them to victory against New Zealand and claiming the Rusty Robertson Trophy. This year, he has been named coach of the all-Mercantile Australian Under 23 Women’s Pair, who will be competing at the Under 23 World Championships in Bulgaria.
Simon was the Director of Rowing and First VIII Coach at Brighton Grammar from 2003 – 2011, and graduated from the school himself in 1994. Simon has a degree in Exercise Science, and extensive training in strength and conditioning training, and high performance coaching.
As an athlete, Simon has rowed for numerous state and national teams – representing Australia at the Junior and Senior B level, and Victoria in both the Youth Eight and Kings Cup crew. He also was the winner of numerous National Championship medals, and five titles.
David ‘Chipper’ Colvin
SENIOR WOMEN’S COACH
David brings to Mercantile tremendous understanding and experience from his time as an elite coxswain, having coxed the Australian Men’s VIII at the 1992 Olympics, as well as numerous World Championship-winning crews in all classes of boats.
Over the last ten years, David has developed some of Australia’s best Under 23, lightweight and senior women rowers, including coaching the Victorian women’s VIII. As a result, David is one of the most highly regarded coaches in the country. His technical knowledge is second to none, and he is a constant sounding board for rowers and coaches alike.
UNDER 23 MEN’S COACH
David is one of our most experienced coaches at an underage level. He has previously enjoyed great success at Mercantile with many State, and National Championship wins. At this time he also coached the Interstate Youth 8 on 5 occasions before moving to school coaching in 1992. We are delighted that he has returned to coaching at Mercantile with our Under 23 men’s squad this year.
In between times he coached at Scotch College, Brighton Grammar, Carey Grammar, and then Brighton Grammar again before moving to Banks where he enjoyed State and National Championship wins and was involved with coaching the Interstate Youth Eight in 2012 and 2014. David is again involved with coaching the Interstate Youth 8 this year.
David also brings a deep level of other experience in the sport having served on the Boards of Rowing Australia and Rowing Victoria and being one of the most knowledgeable people in the sport on rowing events and regatta programming. He is a life member of Rowing Victoria.
JUNIOR AND YOUTH COORDINATOR & YOUTH MEN’S COACH
John leads Mercantile’s Youth and Junior men’s squad, and supports David and Simon with coaching the senior club’s men. He joins Mercantile following success coaching schoolgirl rowing, at both St Catherine’s School and Firbank Grammar. John is currently the First Eight Coach at St Catherine’s School, and also studying post graduate law at Melbourne Law School.
John has extensive experience with Australian Junior, Under 21, and Under 23 selection processes, having coached numerous athletes to trial for these teams. Additionally, in 2015 John was appointed one of the coaches of the Junior Women’s Eight, that competed at the Junior World Championships in Rio, Brazil, crossing the line fourth.
In the 2015 Season, John lead the Mercantile Youth Men’s program to their maiden victory in the U21 M4+, as well as a further six medals at the Australian National Rowing Championships in Youth, Under 23, and Open categories.
YOUTH & JUNIOR WOMEN’S COACH
Brigette comes to Mercantile with a huge amount of coaching experience. She is currently the Senior Coordinator of Rowing and 1st VIII Coach at Genazzano FCJ College, where she has held a number of senior positions. At Genazzano, Brigette has enjoyed sustained success having lead two crews (in the schoolgirl quad, and the schoolgirl eight) to bronze medals at the National Championships. Brigette also coached the Victorian Youth Cup Team in 2012, and was the Team Manager of the Victorian Under 18 Tour to New Zealand later the same year.
As an athlete, Brigette rowed very successfully at Firbank Grammar School – where she won a gold and silver medal in the schoolgirl quad at the National Championships. After school, Brigette pursued lightweight rowing at club level, during which time she represented Victoria at the Youth Olympic Festival. Following a knee injury, Brigette was forced to retire and turn her attention to coaching.
Brigette has a degree in Sports and Exercise Science, and expertise in physiology, biomechanics and nutrition.