The New Zealand Rowing Foundation is proud to have supported many of our development athletes over the years at Junior and Under 23 level by awarding grants towards tour costs.
Olympic silver medallist Beth Ross was one of those Under 23 athletes that received support from the foundation back in 2017…
‘For me there is no better feeling than wearing the silver fern and getting to race against the world’s best - and so having been able to do that so many times is incredible.
In my 3 years of rowing in the Under-23 team, my crews and I were always left shy of a medal. Falling short of my hopes each year was a difficult pill to swallow, but I learnt quickly that podium or not, every season spent learning from top level coaches and being in a high-performance environment provides a massive step forward to the goal of representing NZ at the elite level. It’s almost unbelievable to me that I can now say I was a World Champion in 2019 and an Olympic Silver Medallist in Tokyo!
I’ve been back from Tokyo for around two months now. The whirlwind has calmed down and I can more easily reflect on such an amazing experience. There was a sense of calmness and excitement among our crew for our final race (mixed in with a few nerves!) We hit our signature “Black Eight” rhythm quickly and although we were unable to squeeze past Canada, we had a great race and could not be prouder. It feels so special to have been able to come away with a silver medal as it is the first time a New Zealand women’s eight has stood on the podium at the Olympic Games.
It’s exciting to think about what the future holds for women’s sweep rowing with all the talented girls in the Under-23 teams and development squads. I think it’s important to acknowledge the help that I received as a young athlete from the NZRF because without grants and other support it is hard for athletes to dedicate their life to rowing in the way that is needed. I feel so lucky to have been invested in, and am very glad to be able to share my Olympic medal with you.’
Olympic Silver Medallist, Women’s 8+