Rockhampton Grammar School rower Grace Sypher is back on the water after undergoing surgery to have a plate inserted in her badly broken collarbone. Photo: David Thomson.
Rockhampton Grammar School rower Grace Sypher is back on the water after undergoing surgery to have a plate inserted in her badly broken collarbone. Photo: David Thomson.

Bad break can’t hold Rocky Grammar rower back

LAURA Sypher is one determined athlete.

Just weeks after undergoing surgery to have a plate inserted to realign a badly broken collarbone, she was getting back into rowing training.

The 17 year old declared she was “all good now” before taking part in a beep test with a group of fellow Rockhampton Grammar’s rowing hopefuls on Monday.

Sypher suffered the injury in mid-September on her family’s Central Queensland property.

She was out looking for some cattle when her horse spooked, and she was sent crashing to the ground.

Despite the break, she was determined to stay in shape as she set her sights on making Grammar’s squad for next year’s national rowing championships.

“I didn’t really stop with physical activity,” Sypher said.

“I was riding stationary bikes the week after it happened to keep my fitness up.

“I was running as soon as I could and then bike riding for hours.

“As soon as I was able to row, I started again, and swimming as well.

“There are some things I do where it hurts a bit but considering it’s only been 11 weeks, I’m really happy with how it is.”

Grace Sypher’s comeback has impressed RGS head of rowing John Smyth. Photo: David Thomson.
Grace Sypher’s comeback has impressed RGS head of rowing John Smyth. Photo: David Thomson.

Sypher is one of about 25 students who are vying for selection in the summer squad, which will be announced today.

RGS head of rowing John Smyth said the rowers who made it would be given tailored training programs to follow over the Christmas holidays.

They would then return for a week-long camp in January from which the national squad would be selected.

“The nationals are in March so in order to be competitive, very shortly after we get back in Term 4 they need to start training,” he said.

“We’re on the water four mornings a week, on Tuesdays they swim and on Monday and Wednesday they’re in the gym.

“In the past, we’ve taken 18 to 20 of the summer squad to the state champs after camp, and then nationals can be anywhere from six to 12.

“The standards are there in terms of the speeds we need to go away and so if they can meet them, we take them.

“We just want to make sure if we send a crew, we’d anticipate they would make a final at nationals.”

Smyth was impressed with Sypher, saying she had managed her comeback incredibly well.

Her injury meant she was denied the chance to compete at one of the few regattas of the year but she still attended to support her fellow rowers.

“In terms of rehab and getting back on the water, I don’t think I’ve seen anyone approach it better.

“She’s been fantastic, and this morning she actually topped the trials in the sculls.

“She’s a very good athlete and it’s good to have someone like that that other people can chase after.”

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