Jul 23 2010 Dumfries Standard Friday
AS THOUSANDS of rowers descended on Strathclyde Country Park for the British Rowing Championships last weekend, Dumfries’ Alex Gemie, aged 24, brought home a gold and silver medal.
Racing for Aberdeen Boat Club, in the Women’s Lightweight Pair event with Strathclyde Park RC partner Gillian Connal, they led from start to finish, pulling away from the field through the middle of the 2km race for a convincing victory.
For an encore, and only 32 minutes after becoming national lightweight champion, Alex joined Aberdeen compatriot Kate Jones in the Women’s Open Pair where they lit up a thrilling final, coming out on top of a three-boat, photo finish for the silver medal.
For Alex, both wins brought an end to a run of bad luck, which saw her out of training for two months during the early season due to a wrist injury.
She said: “I was at such a low point earlier in the year, I fell behind with training and missed out on key races
“So many times I considered whether it was worth carrying on but I just couldn’t face giving up.
“These last two years, everything I’ve done has been in aid of my aim for Commonwealth selection – the thought of it all disappearing so close to the end was un bearable.
“Giving up wasn’t an option.”
Fortunately, prior to her injury, a strong, solid winter season kept Alex in good stead.
“After I made a full recovery, I just had to keep my head down, focus on what I had yet to do rather than worry about what I hadn’t done,” she said.
This weekend sees Alex compete at the Home International Regatta, hosted by Cork in Ireland, where she will represent Scotland in the women’s lightweight single scull and lightweight pair with Gillian Connal.
They will be hoping to have a repeat performance of last weekend, with the aim of bringing home another gold medal and win against the English, Welsh and Irish.
Alex will then return home for two days before flying to Canada where her impressive results have earned her a place in Scotland’s national team for the Commonwealth Rowing Championships in Canada.
This busy season comes at a cost for Alex.
“There is very little funding in Scottish Rowing, and all our trips are self-funded,” said Alex, who has been seeking sponsorship this last year but without luck.
Anyone wishing to donate to her rowing fund, can contact her at email@example.com.
Alex is a former pupil of St Joseph’s College, and she first learnt to row aged 12 at Nithsdale Rowing Club.