We did it: Leah Saunders (Lower Clarence) and Sophie Dansie (Lismore).
We did it: Leah Saunders (Lower Clarence) and Sophie Dansie (Lismore).

Rowers ready to show best in NZ

NORTH Coast Academy of Sport has announced that Leah Saunders and Riley Elvery, members of the Lower Clarence Rowing Club at Maclean, have been selected for the Australian Junior Rowing Development Squad tour of New Zealand later this month.

They were invited to try out at the National Talent Identification and Development Rowing Camp selection trials held recently at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra.

Leah and Riley will join the 25-member squad in Canberra on May 13 for a pre-departure training camp before leaving for New Zealand on May 18. They will compete in a three-day high-performance regatta at Lake Karapiro, Hamilton, on May 21-23. Lake Karapiro is the venue for this year’s World Rowing Championships to be held in November.

The tour is being used by the NTID program as an important step in each athlete’s pathway into international rowing and will be used as a stepping stone for the group to attend further NTID camps and regattas.

NTID senior coordinator Wayne Diplock says the tour, which is being run for the second year, has a large part to play in Australian rowing.

“Rowing Australia and the NTID program are making significant headway at uncovering our next generation of international rowers and this tour is just another part of this process,” Diplock said.

“Some of these 25 athletes narrowly missed out on making the 2010 Australian junior rowing team but are still very much part of our future plans and this tour will allow them to race at international level. Both the Australian Junior Team and our NTID touring group contain some rowers with excellent skills and strength and we look forward to seeing their continued development in both New Zealand and in the future.”

The selection of Leah and Riley, as well as Sarah Jones and Johanna Tarrant from Grafton, highlights the high quality of the rowing program the Academy has developed in the Clarence Valley in conjunction with excellent local coaches, supplemented by visiting coaches and consultants.

The support of local clubs, schools, the wider community and, of course, their families, is invaluable for these dedicated young athletes to assist them in achieving their goals.



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