WHITEWASH: Rosalyn Lawrence, from Old Bonalbo, takes on the course in Slovenia during the recent Junior Pre-World Championship
WHITEWASH: Rosalyn Lawrence, from Old Bonalbo, takes on the course in Slovenia during the recent Junior Pre-World Championship

White-water wonder

By STEVE SPINKS

LIKE the raging white-water torrent that she competes on, slalom kayaking courses through the veins of Old Bonalbo's Rosalyn Lawrence.

After all, the sport is a family obsession.

Not only is Rosalyn an Australian representative at the junior level, but older sisters Jacqui and Kate have also taken their spots on senior teams.

Rosalyn headed the charge of the Lawrence girls in Europe recently when she competed in the Junior Pre-World Championships in Slovenia.

The fact the 16-year-old finished 25th earned her the monthly award for August in The Northern Star Junior Sports Star of The Year Award.

"I was pretty happy with that (place), considering it was my first international race," Lawrence said.

"I only just made it into the semi-finals (she clinched the last spot 40th) but I got up to 25th."

Family trifecta

Rosalyn's sister Jacqui competed in the Australian Under-22 squad in Europe after her younger sister had headed home, while Kate rounded out the trifecta when she competed with the Australian Open team.

In fact, Rosalyn had to put up with Jacqui telling her what to do while she was touring, as Jacqui travelled with the junior team as a coach.

But there were no sibling rivalry or family fights.

"It was really good to have her over there," Rosalyn said.

"She coaches me in Australia as well so it was good to have her support and spend some time with her because she lives in Sydney."

While the Year 11 Bonalbo Central School student is serious about her kayaking she also loves playing other sports like tennis, hockey, soccer and football.

But slalom kayaking is her passion.

Rosalyn trains up to 12 sessions a week, usually on her family's dam at their Old Bonalbo property.

Twelve sessions a week of torture for a race that lasts little more than 90 seconds.

"I don't think of it like that," Rosalyn said.

"It is definitely hard work, but it is worth it. Dad comes down to training some times and a girl from school comes two or three times a week."

So what is it about slalom kayaking that has Rosalyn hooked?

"There's always something different," she said.

"Something to surprise you. Big water can make it really hard, but it's fun.

"You're not just slogging it out all the time."

A family tradition got her into slalom kayaking, but torrents of white-water have kept her there.



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