For student Christie Davis, the many hours of hard work she has put into her studying and sporting pursuits is paying off.
The 21-year-old is in her third year of a Bachelor of Computing and Mathematical Science degree at the University of Waikato, where she is a Sir Edmund Hilary Scholar. She is also a high performing rower, and works hard to balance her many commitments to ensure the best chance of success.
Her results are impressive. She started the year with a first and two seconds at the National Rowing Championships in Twizel, which earned her a "red coat", which is presented on the podium when rowers win their first national premier championship title. Her success led to selection for the New Zealand under 21 team in 2014, and she recently travelled with the Under 23 team which competed at the World Championships in Plodiv, Blugaria. These experiences have motivated Davis to push herself to achieve even more in the future.
"Bulgaria was an incredible experience," she says. "Preparation for the Under 23 team involves two or three trainings per day including on-water, gym and weights sessions. We also have physio, psychology, and nutrition commitments to attend. To be successful it's important to make the most of these opportunities and train everyday as best as possible."
Christie has not just succeeded on the water, but has taken on voluntary roles within rowing. She is currently the president of the Waikato University Rowing Club, and is involved in organising and promoting rowing through the university. Christie will captain the Waikato University Women’s team at the Gallagher Great Race.
She is a big believer in giving back to the community to ensure the future strength of the sport: "Giving back to sport has been one of the best and most rewarding decisions I've ever made. Sport has given so much to me, and it's so rewarding to help share the appreciation I have for the sport with others. It makes people happy and I like to be a part of that."
Christie hopes that more success will come to her - both academically and in rowing - and she is committed to working hard to achieve it. Her advice to other young people is to be dedicated and don’t let opportunities pass you by.
"Make the most of any opportunity given to you - that's generally more than 95 per cent of other people. Don’t make excuses. Someone has to be in that 1 per cent that makes it - why shouldn't it be you? But you have to be prepared to work harder and longer than everyone else."