Year 12 elite athletes achieve success in their HSC year

Sport plays a large role in an Ascham education—we believe that a balance of academic study and physical exercise on the sporting field is essential to the development of a healthy individual.

Ascham girls have often excelled in their chosen sports, and 2016 was no different. Here we feature three Year 12 2016 girls who managed to achieve incredible success in the sporting arena while maintaining their studies. Prior to heading into the Higher School Certificate examinations in October 2016, they shared with us the challenges and the joys of a very busy year.

Marlena Berzins—Sailing

This year, alongside my Year 12 studies, I have been busy representing Australia in Sailing in the Laser Radial. I have competed overseas in Japan, Mexico and Ireland, as well as in State and National regattas as a member of the NSW team. Most recently I went to compete in Dun Laoghaire, Ireland, for the Laser Radial Youth World Championships. There were over 400 competitors from over 30 different nations attending, which made it a very exciting event. Overall it was a very challenging regatta with difficult weather conditions and a large fleet of boats, however, I was very happy to finish up 16th overall in the girl’s division. It’s been a very intense and exciting year of Sailing for me, as it has been tough managing my final year of School as well as an extensive training program for my Sailing.

Izzy Guinness—Equestrian

Throughout this year, I have been balancing the demands of Year 12 alongside a busy schedule of Equestrian competitions. It has been a very full on year, but all the hard work was worth it and brought some success. Recently I won the CNC 1-star class at the NSW Interschool Championships and was named the NSW Eventing Champion, which was very exciting! Along with Jessie O’Connell, I have been selected for the NSW team for the 2016 Australian Interschool Championships, to be held in two weeks’ time at the Sydney International Equestrian Centre. I have been lucky enough to be named Vice-Captain of the NSW team. I am really looking forward to this competition but will continue to try and balance both riding and studying prior to and throughout the five-day duration of the event.

Gabrielle Hawkins—Skiing

This year I continued my development as a youth biathlete and cross country skier. In the European 2015/16 winter I took part in an Australian Junior Biathlete team tour of Europe, in which I spent most of my time racing in national racings in Italy and Austria in preparation for the Youth Junior World Championships held in early February in Romania. Although my performance was not my best at World Juniors, due to poor shooting, I am pleased to say that it was my third year competing at this high level. During the Australian winter season, I took part in four weekends of racing, consisting of Australian Cross Country Championships, Australian Cross Country Junior Championships and Australian Biathlon Championships. My Australian season this year was a successful one, in which I re-qualified for both the Australian Cross Country Ski Junior team and Australian Junior Biathlon team. I also managed to secure two second places in the Australian Biathlon Championships and a second place in the overall skate sprint Australian Championships. My results in the Australian season have also put me in contention for a spot at both the World Junior Championships for Biathlon and Cross Country Skiing during the upcoming European winter season.

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