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This article was published 11/10/2016 (315 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
It didn’t take Rianne Boekhorst long to become hooked on rowing.
The 23-year-old, who lives in Norwood Flats, recently finished in 13th place in the women’s open single scull event at the Rowing Canada Aviron (RAC) National Rowing Championships that were held in Burnaby, B.C., between Sept. 22 and 25.
The former University of Manitoba student, who works in commercial banking at Scotia Bank and is a member of Winnipeg Rowing Club, has only been rowing for a year but it hasn’t taken her long to move up the competitive ranks of a sport she has become passionate about.
"I grew up on a farm and helped my family with a lot of chores, so I’ve always been active, but sport was always a recreational thing," said Boekhorst, who is six-foot-two.
"When I was at university, (rowing officials) had a booth out and they chased me down.
"It was always in the back of my mind, but I was always too busy. Then, when I’d graduated, I stopped by the club one day and did a Learn-to-Row program. Then I was talked into doing a senior program and a Manitoba Rowing Association program. I was training two to three times a day and I got addicted," Boekhorst said.
She said she went to Burnaby with "no expectations" and found the overall experience invaluable.
"I was a little surprised at placing as high as I did, but I knew I’d do my best.
"I remember going to the start line for the first time and it was so nerve-wracking. I’d never felt like that before but as I learned how to deal with the nerves it definitely gave me confidence moving forward," Boekhorst said.
Another thing that quickly struck Boekhorst was that she was competing against opponents of a similar size and stature.
"Here, I walk around the mall and people are looking around at how tall I am. I’m used to being the tallest in a group. And then I go to a competition and realize I have no competitive edge to build on," she said, with a laugh.
Boekhorst is open-minded and excited about where her rowing journey may take her in the future, especially if she ends up wearing Canadian colours.
"It would be an honour to represent Canada at a high level and honour my country. I’d love to do that," Boekhorst said.
She also praised the support of the rowing community in Winnipeg.
"It’s such a supportive group," she said.