Monday Meet-the-rower: Ruby Sutherland

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“No two snowflakes are alike…One completely different from the other.” (Charles. M. Schulz.)

Today’s Monday Meet-the-rower is profiling one of our long-standing members, Ruby Sutherland.  Ruby has competed both for Balmain with the Balmain Para-Rowing Program, as well as for her school, PLC Sydney.  Read about Ruby below!

Ruby with members of the Para Squad
Ruby with members of the Para Squad

“I was born at 23 weeks and 4 days gestation at just 620 grams in weight. As a result I spent 105 days after my birth in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Royal North Shore Hospital. As a result of my extreme prematurity, I am diagnosed with retinopathy of prematurity (Legally Blind), Right side hemiplegia (Cerebral Palsy) and I have an intellectual delay.

“I started rowing in 2013 when I was 14 years old and by now was fully aware that I was not particularly gifted at many sports played by able bodied young women. I hadn’t tried rowing at that stage but my mother encouraged me to do something different, so she signed me up to School Rowing. I discovered that rowing was something that I enjoyed and something that I could actually successfully do!

“With ongoing hard work, passion and commitment, I know that my goals can and will become a reality in my future.”

“Although it is physically draining, and often challenging particularly for me in terms of visual cues, technique and stamina, rowing makes me feel energised and capable. These feelings of accomplishment and contentment only come as a result of my rowing and I see it as a very important part of my life. It’s also a Team effort in most cases in order to even enter the water.

Barbara, Ruby and Anne at the Presentation Dinner with the Para Shield
Barbara, Ruby and Anne at the Presentation Dinner with the Para Shield

“So far I am very proud of everything I have achieved in Rowing. This includes 1st place in the 500 metres women’s single scull at the NSW Championships 2015 as well as having competed several times at the Head of the River, achieving a 3rd place in 2015. Along with these achievements, I have also competed in several school regattas and competitions and also trialled for a sweep four for the Head of the Charles River Boston USA in 2014 trialling to represent Balmain Rowing Club.

“As I’ve already said, I am extremely proud of my achievements thus far, however I know I can achieve more. I look forward to challenging opportunities in the near and distant future in order to accomplish this.  In the next few years, My aim is to receive a scholarship to one of Sydney’s leading Universities through my rowing background. I would use this to fulfil both my rowing and academic goals.

“As time progresses, I aspire to win a few more state titles and gain further exposure within the rowing community in order to gain further selection in other crews that encompass para-rowing competitions and ultimately perhaps even Olympics.

As well as my rowing aspirations, I also would like to become an English teacher showcasing my passion for reading. With ongoing hard work, passion and commitment, I know that my goals can and will become a reality in my future.”

Ruby also was invited to trial at the 2017 Australian Rowing Team trials in April, narrowly missing out on being part of the team heading to the World Championships in 2017.

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