From the banks of the Otonabee River to the world stage, Trent University varsity rower Grace VanDenbroek (Peter Gzowski College) has won silver on behalf of Canada in the U23 women’s double scull at the 2022 World Rowing Championships in Varese, Italy.
An accomplished rower, U19 bronze medalist, winner of the 2021 OUA Rowing Athlete of the Year award, and now a U23 silver medalist, Grace sees this competition as the next step to eventually compete in the Olympics. She adds that competing this year was even more special as she was joined by one of her best friends, Western Mustangs rower Elisa Bolinger.
“It's really great to be back on the international stage. Every opportunity to race, especially since the pandemic, is super exciting and getting to test ourselves against the best in the world is a great challenge,” says Grace. “As this is a new combination for us, we are looking forward to seeing how we measure up.”
High-Calibur Excalibur; on the water and in the classroom
As a third-year Business Administration student and Excalibur athlete, Grace says her foundation is at Trent, and the support she has received while studying has made all the difference.
“Trent and my home base have provided me with an excellent foundation to help me to achieve what I have thus far and support me in my goals going forward.”
Success in academics and athletics doesn’t come without effort, and Grace shares that it is thanks to the network of supportive coaches and professors at the University that she has found success in both.
“Balancing school and sports is always a challenge, but as I have success in both academics and as an athlete, I have learned strategies in order to be successful at both,” says Grace. “My coaches and professors over my time at Trent have been exceptionally understanding and supportive in my goals both on the water and in school.”
What’s next for Grace?
With her eyes firmly fixed on Paris 2024, Grace has ambitious plans – in her athletic career and academic pursuits.
“Looking forward, it is my goal to finish my undergrad in the next year in order to move to British Columbia full time to continue training, with my eyes set on Paris 2024,” says Grace. “I also plan to return to school to further my education in teachers' college and hope that Trent may play a role in helping me achieve that.”
Learn more about opportunities to compete with the Trent Excalibur by visiting our varsity website.