Queen's University

Erin Snelgrove, student and varsity rower

[Erin Snelgrove rows with Anna Ionson at the Junior World Championships in England last summer.]Erin Snelgrove and Anna Ionson row at the junior world championships in England last summer.

For varsity rower and Olympic hopeful Erin Snelgrove, getting to the gym or the water before the sun comes up is rarely a problem. “I always want to go,” she says. “It’s pitch black, everyone else is sleeping and I’m training … it’s very exciting.”

The drive to get better and faster gets the first-year engineering student on the water. She loves getting in her pink scull – named Mr. DM, after a former coach – when the sky is dark, with only a few other rowers and coaches around.

While pursuing her studies at Queen’s, Ms Snelgrove maintains a rigorous training schedule, clocking four-hour sessions six days a week at the Athletics and Recreation Centre (ARC). She rows every day (on the indoor ergometers in the winter) and alternates weights and cross training every other day.

Ms Snelgrove began rowing five years ago after leg injuries forced her to quit running. She finds it difficult to manage her busy schedule, rarely gets more than six hours of sleep, and doesn’t have a lot of social time. This semester, she’s taking four courses instead of five to keep things in balance.

Yet, she wouldn’t have it any other way. She really enjoys the sport and the feeling that comes with winning.

Her discipline and enthusiasm has paid off. She competed as a member of the Canadian junior team last summer in the world championships in the U.K. She placed fifth in the double shell event, rowing in the stroke seat, with partner Anna Ionson bow side.

At the 2010 junior worlds in the Czech Republic, she raced in the quad event, and placed ninth. She now has her sights set on the worlds this summer in Bulgaria, and as a future goal, trying out for the 2016 Olympic team.

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Last updated at 1:06 pm EDT, Wed August 20, 2014
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