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RGS rowers qualify for Qld boats

17th Dec 2018

Rockhampton Grammar School rowers Keeley Dunne and Grace Sypher will row against Australia’s best rowers at the Australian World Junior Trials in Sydney during April.

Keeley and Grace qualified for the Queensland eight boats at the Queensland Pathway trials in early December at Lake Wyaralong, a session which included both an on-water 1500m time trial and a 2km ergo trial. Keeley and Grace were two of 45 girls at the trials.

Grace returns to a Queensland boat for 2019 while this is Keeley’s first representation for Queensland.

Keeley has been rowing for five years, joining the RGS rowing programme in 2018, and said gaining quad selection meant so much to her.

“I know that my hard work all throughout the year has finally paid off, and I am also really excited to row alongside a talented group of girls from across the state who are as passionate about the sport as I am,’’ Keeley said.

“I enjoy the feeling of accomplishment after a race or hard training session is over, knowing that I’ve put in my best effort and worked hard.

“I also enjoy the social side to the sport, and being able to row alongside a great bunch of girls who turn up to each session and commit to work together as a team and put in our best effort. I think it really builds character, as well as fitness and strength.”

Keeley and Grace will enter a week-long Queensland camp in April next year before heading to the world trials.

Fellow RGS rowers Bradley Burr, Reece Byrne, Riley Godwin, Nicholas Storey and Laura Sypher also trialled.

Grace, Laura, Reece and Riley remained in Brisbane following the trials to attend a Rowing Queensland camp which included gym sessions with a Rowing Queensland strength and conditioning coach and a training session at the Queensland Academy of Sport (QAS) with Exercise Sport Scientists.

Before the Queensland camp Grace also had the opportunity to compete in the Melbourne Head of the Yarra regatta in late November, rowing in a University of Queensland boat.

Grace was invited into the boat having previously rowed with some of the crew at nationals and her doubles partner Georgia Powell was also in the boat.

The 8.6km time trial started in the city before finishing at Hawthorn and Grace admitted it was very different to her usual 2km races.

“I just had to think of it as another race, that just lasted a bit longer,’’ Grace said.

The race also provided a great opportunity for some sightseeing on the water.

“It was a long race but there was a lot to keep me distracted. We rowed past the Rod Laver Arena and the MCG which was amazing,’’ Grace said.

The UQ boat won women’s C grade division. Almost 260 boats competed in the annual eights event.

Pictured above: Grace Sypher and Keeley Dunne competing at the Qld Schools Rowing Championships earlier this year.