Monday Meet The Rower – Stephen Lawler

Monday Meet The Rower – Stephen Lawler

Monday Meet-The-Rower
Stephen approached the Australian Paralympic Committee to inquire about an appropriate rowing club that specialised in working with physically diverse athletes so he could follow his dream of learning to row with the aim of getting to selection in the near future. Stephen called and we were delighted to say come on down ! He joined the program in 2018 following this inquiry and we have been thrilled by his dedication and quick learning. His weekly training is impressive with him  on the water four times a week followed by  a minimum of two gym sessions. He’s moving well, learning quickly and preparations are on foot for next season’s racing. [caption id="attachment_939" align="alignright" width="300"] Rowing just off White Horse Point[/caption] Stephen is an amazing music producer and is known internationally for…
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Monday Meet The Rower : James Talbot

Monday Meet The Rower : James Talbot

Monday Meet-The-Rower
James Talbot is classified as a PR3 rower and joined the program in 2016. He has been targeted as an athlete for Tokyo 2020 Paralympics having taken part in several Rowing Australia training camps and was selected for the Rowing Australia Head of the Yarra boat. We  expect him to very soon be awarded a scholarship which will enable him to continue training at the elite level while being able to access the needed physiotherapy and additional supports elite rowers require to be able to deliver their best and at the highest standard.  His latest honour has him in serious preparation for the Interstate races at the 2018 Rowing Australia National Championships. [caption id="attachment_880" align="alignright" width="147"] Another winner's grin ![/caption] “I first took up rowing when I was 13 after…
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Rachel Johnson

Rachel Johnson

Monday Meet-The-Rower
Some of our squad come via a friend's recommendation; others come to rowing knowing of the challenge, joy, calm and wanting to try for themselves what their friends or relatives have been able and continue to experience. Rachel has had a long connection with rowing, but never had she been in a boat. In her own words: " For the past six years I have been a keen spectator of my son's rowing prowess. Those school boys made it look so effortless and they were enjoying themselves too! I wanted to join in! Reality took hold, I left school 33 years ago and I had suffered a brain anueysm five years ago. During the 15 hour brain operation I suffered a stroke. After months in rehab, I learnt to walk…
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Simone Cottom

Simone Cottom

Monday Meet-The-Rower
The last few weeks have seen an influx of new rowers to the Program, not that this is a problem, we welcome with open arms anyone wishing to learn the art and science of rowing. One of our newer rowers is Simone Cottom who comes to us from another sport, albeit a much colder one! Simone, due to her serious double knee damage qualifies as a PR2 rower. "My name is Simone Cottom and I went blind ten years ago after suffering Meningitis and then a stroke. Since then I have been skiing regularly in both Japan and Canada until I broke my second leg in the trials for the Paralympics. Following on from that injury [ my second as I severely damaged my other knee earlier] I have given…
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Sam Shalhoub – Rower On The Rise

Sam Shalhoub – Rower On The Rise

Monday Meet-The-Rower
  Sam works as a Masseur and specialises in working with elite athletes. One of those athletes was an Australian Olympic rower and after discussing the sport with that rower Sam was motivated to try rowing himself. Given his visual impairment he knew he would qualify and the one thing Sam has maintained throughout his life is a level of fitness already pushing at what one would expect in terms of fitness if that person was at the elite level of their sport. He joined our program in 2017 and travelled with us to Grafton for our September week on the Clarence River. Each day saw him on the water for three sessions honing his skill in both a single scull as well as rowing crew boats.  Sam classifies in…
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Monday Meet The Rower – Alex Smiles

Monday Meet The Rower – Alex Smiles

Monday Meet-The-Rower
ALEX SMILES Alex is classified PR3  [ formerly LTA] which allows him to use his legs, trunk and arms when rowing. He is able to race in any size boat - single, double, pair, quad, four or eight - but internationally he has two boat classes he can be selected for, one the Four and the other, the Pair which was only introduced this season by FISA and we expect Australia to take up the opportunity to send a PR3 Men's Four overseas to race. Currently the depth of elite rowing in the men's PR3 sweep category is strong and growing weekly. Certainly within our squad we have 8 PR3 Mens sweep athletes; three experienced and racing at the elite level; two developing their skills and moving from competent to…
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MONDAY MEET THE ROWER – DANIEL CLARKE

MONDAY MEET THE ROWER – DANIEL CLARKE

Monday Meet-The-Rower
DANIEL CLARKE     Daniel joined the program in 2016 and rows using his arms and trunk. When in the boat Daniel has a knee strap and also uses a waist and hip strap. He lives an extraordinary life and has achieved things some of us can only ever fantasise about. He’s currently studying for a degree at Macquarie University and, as to be expected, flying through it with Honours. [caption id="attachment_682" align="alignright" width="300"] Working hard on the oartec simulator[/caption] “My name is Daniel Clarke, I am 19 years old and live on the Northern Beaches of Sydney. I have athetoid cerebral palsy affecting my whole body so I use a manual wheelchair for mobility however, this has not stopped me pursing my goals and achieving at a high level.…
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Monday Meet-The-Rower : STEPHANIE WALKER

Monday Meet-The-Rower : STEPHANIE WALKER

Monday Meet-The-Rower
STEPHANIE WALKER Stephanie is one of our newer rowers and was welcomed to the squad in late 2016. She is classified PR3 [ID] or in the old classification system LTA ID. Stephanie had a brain haemorrhage at birth but her parents tell us she "went on to be a happy, healthy child. At age 6 she had her first seizure and was subsequently diagnosed with ESES, a rare form of intractable epilepsy. The prognosis was unclear but along with intellectual regression her parents were warned of the potential of loss of language and loss of muscle control leading to a future in a wheelchair. Fortunately Stephanie remained physically strong and is rarely lost for words. In conjunction with excellent medical care, her parents attribute this to her passion for sport.…
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MONDAY MEET THE ROWER : SOPHIE DELEZIO

MONDAY MEET THE ROWER : SOPHIE DELEZIO

Monday Meet-The-Rower
SOPHIE DELEZIO Sophie is one of our junior rowers and currently our only PR2 classified rower. PR2 means Sophie rows using only her trunk and arms but due to Sophie's physical impairment has to row with one oar feathered and one oar taped on the square. She joined the squad in 2014 and has been a hardworking, conscientious member putting her all in to her training both on the water, and on the erg when the wind and water have made rowing out of Balmain unsafe. [caption id="attachment_650" align="alignright" width="300"] Sophie's first on land session and she smashed it.[/caption] Twelve years ago, Sophie Delezio suffered third-degree burns to 85% of her body after a car smashed into her Sydney childcare centre. She lost her feet, some fingers, and her right…
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MONDAY : MEET THE ROWER

MONDAY : MEET THE ROWER

Monday Meet-The-Rower
TAHLI HIND •                PR3 ROWER [caption id="attachment_631" align="alignright" width="327"] A good looking PR3 4+! Left to Right: Tahli, Alex, Ruby and Nikolai[/caption] Tahli joined the para program in 2016. She was recommedned to the program through her friend, Nikolai, a long term member of the program. Tahli is not only a rower but came to us having already won Silver at the Special Olympics. Tahli was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at 6 months of age and she is left-side affected. "I started swimming during High School and am categorised S3. I also took up golf 4 years ago and competed in the Special Olympics Golf (2nd National Championships) and got the silver medal in my category. I’ve worked as a kitchen hand at…
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Monday Meet the Rowers

Monday Meet the Rowers

Monday Meet-The-Rower
MONDAY MEET THE ROWER : NIKOLAI OLDING [caption id="attachment_619" align="alignnone" width="300"] Nikolai's final days sculling with pontoons[/caption] • LTA Rower • Joined 2013 I was born very early - at 24 weeks and spent six months in intensive care with several operations and chronic lung disease. I went home with supplementary oxygen (which I used for a year) and over the next 18 years of all sorts of remedial treatments, was told by several doctors and specialists that I probably would not be able to walk/talk/write/be a sportsman or hear. I’m glad to report that I have proved most of these people wrong, though I have been diagnosed with mild ataxic cerebral palsy, am certainly hearing impaired and have a learning disorder with some expressive speech problems. However, I can…
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Monday Meet-the-rower: Ruby Sutherland

Monday Meet-the-rower: Ruby Sutherland

Monday Meet-The-Rower
“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! [caption id="attachment_209" align="alignright" width="222"] Ruby with members of the Para Squad[/caption] "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…
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Monday Meet-the-rower: Jeremy McGrath

Monday Meet-the-rower: Jeremy McGrath

Monday Meet-The-Rower
[caption id="attachment_301" align="alignright" width="225"] Paralympic Rower Jeremy McGrath[/caption] The magical fairies who update our site for us have been on holiday over the winter, but with the start of a new month, it's time to catch up!  Today, we're profiling Paralympian and Balmain Para-Rowing Program member Jeremy McGrath! "I was born without a tibia and with a slightly shortened fibula in my right leg. When I was very young I could get around the house, awkwardly, on my right leg but for full mobility I have always needed a prosthesis. After attending a Paralympic Talent Search in 2013, I was put in touch with Barbara Ramjan at Balmain Rowing Club. The Club has a strong para-rowing program and I began rowing with them in May 2013. "In 2009, at aged…
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