Rowing Experience Of A Lifetime

Words Will Kalikman

When I decided to take a gap year, I knew that I wanted to do two things: explore a different part of the world and row at a high level. Through Sport Lived, I was able to do both of those things and had an incredible experience along the way.

Going into the programme, I was unsure what to expect. I knew no one in Australia, was unfamiliar with Melbourne, and had no idea what rowing with Mercantile would be like. From the first day my worries were alleviated. I arrived a week late to the programme, so by the time I got to the accommodation my roommates were already moved in: a group of boisterous, hilarious cricketers who would be my roommates for the next 6 months. They immediately made me feel welcome, showing me around the area we were staying and taking me out to their favourite bar that first night.

After a couple of days, I began rowing with Mercantile. The guys on the team also immediately brought me into the fold -- I was brought up to speed with the training programme and got into the swing of things within the week. For the next six months, I spent my time hanging out with my teammates and the others in the programme, training, racing, and exploring the city. I did things like take a road trip with 5 other Sport Lived participants along the Great Ocean Road, go on an epic 250 kilometer bike ride with my teammates, go to my flatmates’ cricket games, go out to amazing dinners in the city, and so much more.

I love Melbourne, and I’m going to miss my friends from rowing and from Sport Lived so much. I’ve made friends and memories that will stay with me for the rest of my life.

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