GGS GIRLS TO ROW IN RIO

In the shadows of Christ the Redeemer, on the Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon, five members of the all-conquering Geelong Grammar School 1st Girls’ VIII will represent Australia in the Junior Womens’ VIII at the World Rowing Junior Championships in August 2015.

Maddison Brown (Yr12 EM), Sasha Culley (Yr11 Cl), Kirstie Green (Yr12 A), Bridgette Hardy (Yr12 Cl) and Sarah Harte (Yr11 A), five cogs in the GGS Girls’ rowing machine, will represent their country in Rio de Janerio in what is an unofficial dress rehearsal for the venue ahead of the 2016 Olympic Games.

Girls Rowing OGGU.jpg

Following the completion of their near-perfect season the crew faced the difficult decision of whether to try-out for the Australian team; knowing that the Championships could prove a distraction in their VCE and IB studies.

For Maddison it was a difficult decision, but one she knew would come back to haunt her had she passed up the opportunity. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime chance to represent your country, and having such a supportive network at the School made the decision less daunting.”

Having juggled a hectic rowing schedule with their Term 1 studies assisted the decision-making process. A hectic schedule that saw the 1st VIII (the five Australian reps plus Xenia Brookes (Yr12 Cl), Is Cameron (Yr12 Cl), Tara O’Reilly (Yr12 Cl) and cox India Rofe(Yr12 Cl)) win the Head of the Schoolgirls and Heads of the River plus the Victorian and Australian Schoolgirls’ VIII titles.

GGS Director of Rowing Geoff Hunter admits that while it would have been nice for the entire crew to represent Australia, he understands the decision of those that opted against it and emphasised just how amazing their 2015 season was. “This year’s 1st VIII have set the bar incredibly high for future crews, but they have also shown this level of success to be attainable.” “Geelong Grammar School have had athletes represent Australia while still at school in the past but to have five in the same year, in the same discipline, is an incredible achievement for the School.”

Girls-Rio-Crew.jpg

Looking ahead World Championships- there are high hopes that this crew can achieve something special. “This Australian Junior Women’s Eight crew is going 10 seconds faster at the same stage as last year’s crew,” said Rowing Victoria chief executive Nick Gall (Cu'86), adding that last year’s crew came fifth at the championships.  “I don’t think we’ve seen talent at the junior level like this for some time.”

Coach Annabelle Eaton praised the young athletes’ drive and focus, and said a win or place would be significant in the lead-up to the 2016 Rio Olympics. “They’ve gone above and beyond the crews of the last two years,” she said. ”The capacity to go even faster is certainly there.”

The Crew are trying to raise funds to help them compete. Fundraising information at https://goo.gl/upzLKI  Donate before 30 June. All donations are fully tax deductible

 

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