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This Is Northern New South Wales

Extreme Whitewater Kayaking

kyak7Growing up in the tiny country town of Old Bonalbo, Ros was introduced to paddling by her father. Her earliest memories are of family trips down the Clarence River, playing in the water with friends at Nymboida and paddling in the surf at Byron.

Ros’s dad Laurie coached the school canoe team at Bonalbo Central School, so when she started high school, she began to put in the hard yards. Ros’ older sisters Jacqui (Olympic Silver Medalist) & Kate (World Cup Champion) provided plenty of inspiration.

Training at home for Ros meant paddling on the farm dam every day. Her mum and dad would drive for hours on weekends and holidays up and down the east coast of Australia in search of places to train and race. The Northern Rivers was and still is a wonderful place to call home, and even after all the travelling she has done Ros still enjoys being at home the most.kyak6

Photo by Sportscenekyak4

In 2011 Ros travelled to the Sickline Extreme Kayaking World Championships in Oetz, Austria for the first time. The locals certainly talked up the rapids!:

“don’t paddle fast in the qualification, or you’ll have to race on the finals course. That’s far too dangerous!”

In fact, that year the women weren’t even allowed to race on the finals course with the men.

Then, last year Ros returned to the grade 5 Wellerbrücke rapids determined to prove that women could conquer them! For the first time, the women’s final was held on the main section of rapids, along with the men. Ros was crowned Queen of Sickline, 2012! They gave her a handbag.


Photo by Sportscene

This year Ros is on a mission to reclaim her title, and to push the limits of what women can achieve in sport. She also competes on the international race circuit in canoe slalom, an Olympic discipline in which she will this year compete at five World Cups and the World Championships. With a packed race schedule this year Ros is scraping the barrel, working two jobs and often camping at training camps to cut costs. Ros loves camping, but not when it’s below ten degrees in the French Alps!


Photo by Jens Klatt

To show your Northern Rivers pride and support Ros, you can choose from a variety of great value supporter packages including personally handwritten postcards from Europe, cool paddlers t-shirts and a special Northern Rivers Pride business sponsor marketing package for only $500! Check out her campaign page at and if you are a business sponsor, don’t forget to click on the “sponsorship” tab.