Calla chasing dream

Calla Gould-Whaley trains seven days a week for the Australian Rowing Championship. Jay Cronan.
Calla Gould-Whaley trains seven days a week for the Australian Rowing Championship. Jay Cronan.

LISMORE Rowing Club teenager Calla Gould-Whaley doesn't know the meaning of the word rest.

The 15-year-old is out the door every morning hours before anyone else in the home wakes up.

Calla trains seven days a week and has her sights set on the Australian Rowing Championships in Perth next week.

She will compete in the 2000m single and quad scull events with three other girls from Grafton and Port Macquarie.

"We've been working really hard in the quads and just trying to get everything together," Calla said.

"It's a lot harder for us because we are so far apart and some of the other teams get to train together every day.

"I think as a group we are really strong considering we come from a regional area."

It's been an expensive journey for Calla to make it this far and it will only continue to grow after she was recently accepted into the North Coast Academy of Sport rowing program.

She is already approaching her third year in the sport and made several friends at her Lismore club.

"My boat cost me $4500 and that was a second-hand one," Calla said.

"A new boat costs around $12,500 and blades are close to $1000.

"And my boat is already on a container heading to Perth and that cost about $400.

"I don't think people realise how much effort goes into it.

"I was lucky enough to get my boat second-hand from one of the girls at the club."

Calla is confident in the single sculls and says she enjoys individual races as much as the team events.

"It's always a thrill to catch other people and glide past them," she said.

"I really like being in the boat by myself because you know that you don't have anyone else to rely on and its all you."

Calla's mother Simone is one of her biggest supporters.

"We hear her get up and leave at the crack of dawn," she said.

"Sometimes she is in the water when it's still dark and you see her disappear into the mist in her boat.

"It's a tough sport and it's very technical when you're in a boat by yourself."

Calla is currently seeking sponsors to assist her. Anyone interested can contact the club or family.

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