Rising Star - October 2014
At 22, Grace Prendergast is an accomplished sweep rower with a promising future. Four years ago, she became a Junior World Champion in the women’s four. This year Prendergast was busy becoming a World Champion twice. First at the World Rowing Under 23 Championships in the women’s pair and then at the senior World Rowing Championships in the women’s four. Not only that, but she and her crew set a new World Best Time in Amsterdam, setting the new standard in the four at senior level.
I row because… I enjoy the daily training and how it is a very team-orientated sport. But the main reason I row is because I really enjoy racing and the feeling that you get after having a good race and doing well.
My sporting hero is… ex New Zealand rower Rob Waddell. He achieved so much in rowing and then continued to achieve after finishing by competing in the America’s Cup and becoming New Zealand’s Commonwealth and Olympic chef de mission.
I'm motivated by… seeing myself making progress on and off the water and wanting to keep improving. I am also motivated by the people I row with in Rowing New Zealand because of everyone’s competitive and hard-working nature.
My favourite training session is… a good U2 session pacing another crew.
My least favourite training session is… when it’s raining and cold, particularly in winter.
2km or 5km on the erg? Probably 2000m. Although I can’t say I particularly enjoy either that much! But a 2k is more intense and over a lot faster.
Before a race, I always… Get everything ready early on. I make sure I have my recovery food for after the race ready and that all my gear is packed so that I can just relax before my race and not worry about anything else. I also like to listen to music sometimes to chill out before warming up.
I’m most relaxed when… I have finished training for the day and am at home relaxing with my flatmates.
My favourite food is… after training I really enjoying coming home and making an omelette with mushrooms, spinach and anything else that’s in the fridge. But my favourite dinner would have to be pork belly.
I am studying… a Bachelor of Business Studies through Massey University.
My non-rowing friends think that rowing is… a very time-consuming sport but one in which I get to travel all around the world.
Outside of rowing I… like to catch up with friends and get back home to Christchurch whenever possible to see my family.
In ten years’ time… I probably won’t be rowing anymore but will hopefully have reached my maximum potential in my rowing and have had a successful career.