Winnipeg Rower Named National Junior Of The Year
WINNIPEG, MB – It’s unlikely any Manitoba female athlete had a better, more surprising year than Winnipeg’s Emma Gray.
Sure, Chantal van Landgehem won an Olympic medal and Kelsey Wog made her mark as the next great Manitoba swimmer, but Gray virtually came out of nowhere to become the best young rower in the nation.
In fact, back in mid-September Winnipeg’s young rowing star, officially became the fastest junior female rower in the country.
In Burnaby, B.C., Gray won two gold medals and a silver medal at the National Rowing Championships in Burnaby, B.C., and led Manitoba to the Canadian Rowing National Championship trophy.
Gray, who is still only 18, had been rowing for less than two years when she went out and dominated the national junior events. Of course, she had been rowing for less than a year when she exceeded every elite benchmark established by Rowing Canada at the Montreal regional RBC Training Ground event held last February. Her strength (isolated arm and leg push/pulls) and endurance (Schwinn arm/leg bike) results separated her from the field of elite athletes.
These remarkable performances earned Gray funding of up to $10,000 per year for the next three years to enable her to participate in more international events.
Now, Gray has some new hardware for her mantel. At the 2017 World Rowing Conference and Rowing Canada Aviron (RCA) National Awards Ceremony Gray and two other Manitoba coaches, athletes and umpires took home prestigious awards based on their outstanding contributions to the sport of rowing.
Gray was selected the recipient of the prestigious RCA Junior Athlete of the Year Award. This award recognizes one athlete above all others for his/her performance as well as their sportsmanship, leadership, community involvement and representation of the values of Rowing Canada and its members.
Antony Patterson was selected as the Runner-Up for the 2016 RCA Coach of the Year Award.
Sandra Kirby received a Long Service Award to Rowing for 40 years of commitment and dedication to the sport. She is an active contributor to the Winnipeg Rowing Club, the Manitoba Rowing Association, nationally and internationally as an umpire and advocate for safe sport.
And Meghan Montgomery and her team received the “International Achievement” award for their achievements at the 2016 Para Olympics.
-Scott Taylor, MyToba Sports
Photo Courtesy Rowing Canada