Some of Canada’s female rowing elite are in Kingston preparing for the trip of a lifetime.
The national under-21 development team — which has been training on the Cataraqui River and at Queen’s University over the past five weeks — is headed to the Trans-Tasman U21 Regatta on Lake Karapiro, New Zealand, on Aug. 22-25.
The Canadian athletes will compete against crews from Australia and New Zealand.
“We’re going there to win,” said 20-year-old Laura Gadsdon of St. Catharines, who looks forward to racing internationally for the very first time.
“My goal is to one day race with the national senior team so this will be an incredible learning curve. We’re going there to win some races and bring home some hardware.”
For fellow crew member Kirsten Edwards, it’s all about passion.
The 20-year-old from Port Moody B.C. says rowing has always been a big part of her life.
“I wake up every morning looking forward to hitting the water,” said Edwards, who rows for the University of Victoria.
“I love being part of a team. I find great inspiration in being a crew member and the people I’m surrounded with. Rowing is a sport that pushes the body. Everybody is doing the same and when that happens, success usually follows.”
Lexie Cronk is making her competitive rowing debut in New Zealand. The 19-year-old from Toronto picked up an oar for the first time just a couple of months ago.
“I’ve really worked hard in a short period of time,” said Cronk, who also trains with the University of Toronto Rowing Club.
“Rowing is built on work ethic and if you have the will, you have a way to get there. This is an amazing opportunity for me to get involved and push myself. I currently train full-time to get as fast as I can in a short amount of time. I want to be the athlete I know I can be.”