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Rower picked as rising star

Rower Scarlet Billingham has been named Rising Female Star of the Year at the Counties Manukau Sport and Papakura Local Board Sports Awards.


Scarlet was selected by a panel of judges that included former All Black and local gym owner Keven Mealamu.

“I was shocked when they called my name,” she said. “I couldn’t believe what I had just achieved, that I had just hit the next level in my rowing achievements. I hope for many more memories like that to come. ”

Balancing health and nutrition, self-belief and a good mindset were key to performing well, she said.

“During the end of a race you have to fight for that top placing and to be able to do so you need to know that you have the strength and power inside to push through over the finish line.”

Her coach, former ACG Strathallan student Hayden Shaw, said Scarlet had come a long way in a short period of time:

“Scarlet only began rowing in December 2015. Most of the girls in her finals at the Maadi Cup have been rowing for three or more seasons. She trains three hours a day, five days a week, with fitness training on the side. She’s incredibly dedicated, and I believe that she has a very good shot at winning a gold medal this season – and more beyond that.”

He said Scarlet’s strength was her mental fortitude.

“If we can work together to get her in the right headspace leading up to a race, I’m always confident that she’ll work her hardest.”

ACG Strathallan was also represented at the awards with Caleb Pahina, Year 13, and Mckenzie Northcott, Year 12, MCing the evening.