Rowena Webster is an Australian water polo centre back. She has attended Korowa Anglican Girls’ School and Arizona State University. As youngster, she played Australian rules football and was involved with surf lifesaving. She started playing water polo as a ten-year-old. She has played for the Richmond Tigers, the Victorian State team, Arizona State University and a professional side in Greece. She has represented Australia as a member of Australia women’s national water polo team on both the junior and senior level. She has earned gold medals at the 2011 Canada Cup, and the 2007 FINA Junior World Championships. She earned a silver medal at the 2010 FINA World League Super Finals. She earned bronze medals at the 2010 FINA Women’s Water Polo World Cup and the 2009 FINA World League Super Finals. She is one of seventeen players fighting for thirteen spots to represent the country at the 2012 Summer Olympics in water polo.
Webster started playing water polo as a ten-year-old, and more seriously as a twelve-year-old in Melbourne, Australia acting as a fill in for her older sister’s team at that age. In 2010 and 2011, she had a water polo scholarship from the Victorian Institute of Sport. She prefers to wear cap number seven and is a utility player who can be found in the centre back position. She has scars on her back from opposition players biting her there during games. She feels a need to wear a mouth guard during every game she plays. Her water polo club is the Richmond Tigers. In 2003, she played for the club at State League Level 1, the highest ability league open to players of all ages. She first represented the state of Victoria in 2000. In 2003, she was Victorian team captain. In 2003, she woke up at “4.40 am twice a week for training and swimming three afternoons a week”. In 2005, she was putting in “three gym sessions, three swimming drills, [and] six rounds of water polo practice” a week. That year, she represented the state of Victoria at the Australian Water Polo Championships. She also represented the state in 2005 at theNational Schoolgirls Water Polo Competition held Noosa, Queensland.
In the world of elite sport, we talk in “four year cycles.” World Championships are important, but there is only one event each four years that “really matters”- the Olympic Games. This can be both a blessing and a curse. A blessing in that the Games give us something meaningful to work towards. We have a clear goal-setting structure that must conform to pre-determined timeframes. There is no such word as later- a session missed now is an opportunity missed forever.
The fact that the Olympics only come once every four years can also be a curse. Unlike sports like football, where a premiership is played every year, we have only one opportunity to shine each four years. An awful lot of blood, sweat and tears are shed over four years. Will it be worth it? Timing is everything.
I have experienced the best of timing and the worst of timing. My first Olympics, in Beijing in 2008, comes close to the worst. Injuries marred our preparation, and a lack of experience meant we weren’t equipped to overcome this. We performed well below expectation. I left Beijing knowing that I would have to wait out a whole four years for a chance to redeem myself.
It is easy to watch the Olympics and see only the jubilation. But for every gold medal winner, there are many many more non-winners. Everyone, from first place to last place, has equally compelling stories.
Of the non-winners, an interesting question arises as to who walks away satisfied, and who walks away devastated? Is a gold medal the be-all-end-all?
I’m a firm believer that it’s not. Aspiring to win is an exciting and motivating dream. But the real desire is to perform to your absolute best at that one moment in the four year cycle. To cross the line and know that you had the best race you were capable of is an immensely satisfying feeling.
Brooke and I won silver in the double sculls. The first loser, some might say. But that expression could not be further from the truth. The journey that Brooke and I had shared was special in so many ways. We overcame many obstacles just to make it to the start line, but in doing so, emerged with an unshakeable trust in each other and a real desire to succeed.
Before the race started, we honestly believed we could win. Our preparation had not been ideal, but our rhythm was exceptional and we believed that if we could get the lead off the British girls early, we could shake them mentally. They had won 23 out of 23 races leading into the Games- their combination had never been beaten. But they had also never been behind in a race. This was what we saw as our “hope.”
When the starting gates opened, we put everything into the first 250m. And credit to the British girls, they still beat us out of the blocks. I look back and I have to hand it to them. They were the better crew. They had had three solid uninterrupted years of training and racing. Brooke and I had had a couple of weeks.
But we also couldn’t have walked away any happier. The British girls may have won, but we pushed them the whole way, and opened up a huge margin on the rest of the field. We raced far and beyond our expectations. There is nothing more satisfying, in the pressure cooker environment of the Olympic Games, where even the steeliest of resolves can be broken, to absolutely execute your best race.
For us, the silver medal was like a gold one. We have so many beautiful memories to share, and will always cherish both the race and the journey.
The single scull was a new experience for me. I have raced crew boats nearly all my career, except for one World Cup in 2010 when I my doubles partner (at that time, Kerry Hore) got injured and I jumped into the single. It is a really different boat to row, and presents very different challenges.
To race the single was exciting- mainly as it gave me hope that if I invested time in learning to row the single scull, I could mix it with the best girls in the world. Each race was a steep learning curve, and one that I am excited to continue over the next four years.
If someone had told me I’d be a bronze medallist in the single scull even six months out from the Games, I would have laughed. But sometimes unfortunate situations (Brooke’s injury) present great opportunities. Brooke often jokes that I owe my bronze medal to her dodgy rib- and she’s right!
There is a lot of hard work, commitment, dedication. But every now and then, there’s also a bit of luck!
First ever Trophy Kart (off-road) race in Australia – 20-21 October, 2012, South Australia
The inaugural TrophyKart Australia spectacular was a roaring success as 15 TrophyKarts took to the Loveday 4X4 Park track for their first competitive hit out.
“Spectators were totally blown away with the excitement, watching eagerly from the sidelines at TrophyKart Australias’ first official race on Australian soil” exclaimed Rick Bramley, the Australian Representative of TrophyKart Australia.
No one could have predicted that the stadium event would impress so many spectators with how fast and high they could jump. The closeness of the racing was another key issue to why it is such a spectacle for the public to watch.
Trevor Scott, 5RM radio announcer and commentator is quoted as saying that TrophyKarts were as exciting to watch as the 360 and 410 sprint cars that he had commentated the night before.
One of the highlights for the weekend’s racing for drivers and spectators alike was the fifth heat, which had a reverse grid start. South Australia’s well known off road racer Wally Francombe started rear of the field along-side another well-known off roader Wes Cowie to solidly work his way through the field to second place after five very fast short laps.
“The crowd applauded what was to be one of the most exciting races I have ever had the pleasure of being part of” added Bramley. “There were two roll over incidence during the weekend and both karts and drivers were checked for injury or damage and consequently were back racing in the very next heat; both bearing race tape battle scars but no major damage, a sign of the strength of these machines.”
The junior classes will no doubt demonstrate where the future off road champions will evolve from. young guns Frank Gadaletta, son of Sam from Port Pirie in the South Australia mid north who last year took possession of the ex Outerbounds Racing Jimco, Lachlan and Brodie Jones, sons of long time New South Wales off road campaigner Steve Jones, Jed Bramley, son of TrophyKarts Australia founder Rick and Toby Whaetley of South Autralia are just a few names to keep an eye on. These juniors, who are fortunate to have fathers from off road racing backgrounds, will proudly fill the shoes their fathers have worn.
“There are several TrophyKart tracks in South Australia, the main one being the Loveday 4 x4 park at Barmera in the South Australian Riverland, with the soon to be transformed the Blue Dot Speedway at Griffith in New South Wales after local efforts from Steve Jones, and very promising discussions regarding a raceway in Geelong.”
The 2013 TrophyKart calendar is currently being decided, with the first race scheduled to kick off the season in April.
“There is already another twelve TrophyKarts on the factory floor in California receiving the finishing touches before being bound for Australia with an approximate landing date in January. Anyone wishing to join in on the fastest growing motor sport in the United States, while the Australian dollar is so high, will only need to put down a $500 deposit to secure one of the cars in this shipment at a special introductory price while stocks last. Please contact Rick Bramley at TrophyKart Australia on 0457 852 787 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for further details.
“Also, a big thank you to all of the businesses that have had the foresight and confidence to support TrophyKart racing in Australia knowing that this is the beginning of something new and unique.”
Hi Tech Oils • Grh Industrial Tools • King Shocks • Move Your Self Trailer Hire • Mickey Thomson Tyres • Chooks Custom Graphics • North East Isuzu • Offroading Online Magazine • Racer Imports • Hydragate Home Improvements • Paul Horvath Sports Lawyers • Coates Hire • TrophyKart Australia • offroadracing.com.au
Results for Round 1 – TrophyKart Stadium Race Loveday 4×4 Park 20-21 October 2012
|3rd||Lachlan and Brodie Jones|
|1st||Brodie and Lachlan Jones|