Emma Gray – Rowing to the Top in Canada

At Fit Communications we LOVE athletes. The dedication they bring to their sport, the work ethic they put towards their training and competition schedule, watching them perform, and the abilities and capabilities of their physical bodies at times in mind blowing. And when it comes to female athletes, our passion explodes. In last week’s blog (http://fitcommunications.ca/wanted-female-athlete-role-models/) we looked at why female athlete role models are so important, and what you can do to best support them. In this week’s blog, we wanted to feature a story on an athlete we work with, Emma Gray and her exceptional story.

With only six months of rowing under her belt, Emma Gray of the Manitoba Rowing Association has been identified by Rowing Canada as the highest level of potential and ability to make it to the future Olympic podium for Canada.

Emma Gray was identified by Manitoba Rowing Association Head Coach Antony Patterson in the Spring of 2015 while conducting testing during the Row To Podium potential athlete testing at Gray’s high school, University of Winnipeg Collegiate. After achieving the best results in the entire country throughout the tests, Gray was invited to meet with Coach Patterson, Rowing Canada, and Olympians Jeff Powell and Janine Hanson to find out what the Row to Podium program was all about.

At only 16 years of age, Emma has competed on the national stage in various sports. “I played club football when I was quite young. Competed at the national level and have a black belt in Tae Kwon Do. Then played basketball at the high performance provincial level and competed at Under 15 Nationals. Most recently, before rowing, I trained and competed in Olympic weightlifting, going to two Junior National championships,” says Gray.

Emma has her sights set on the Junior World Championships in 2016, the Under 23 World Championships in 2017 and a future on the Olympic podium. Coach Patterson has no doubt Emma has the drive, the talent and the tenacity to do everything she is working towards and beyond.

“There are so many things I love about rowing. The amount of hours and work it requires to be successful. The sense of overwhelming satisfaction when you finish a hard piece, race or workout and know you couldn’t have taken another hard stroke, pushed yourself any further. The sport of rowing is truly addictive. It requires so much focus and energy that it has the power to make everything else in the world disappear,” says Gray.

In Emma’s short time in the sport of rowing she has accomplished exceptional feats for both herself and the provincial rowing program. In August this year she won Gold at the Western Canada Summer Games Women’s Single, a first for Manitoba. She also placed third in the double along with teammate Anne-Marie Goytan. Her third place finish at the National Rowing Championships in the Junior category and Gold in the Women’s Single at the North West International Rowing Association Championships, show that Emma Gray is performing exceptional well and that Manitoba athletes are continuing to top the competition.

Emma’s dedication to the sport of rowing is contagious. Beyond rowing, Emma has also dedicated to being a vegan athlete. At times difficult, she feels this is well worth it both for her body and for our environment.

If you would like to learn more about Emma, or are interested in how you can get involved with female athletes in Manitoba, sign up for our newsletter here – http://eepurl.com/GHTT5

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