Comeback paying off for mum
FORMER Noosa rower Hannah Every-Hall is keen to cap a remarkable comeback at the Olympic selection trials, which get under way at Penrith tomorrow.
Having returned to serious training in 2009 after a lengthy six-year-layoff, the 34-year-old mother of two is one of four women vying for two places in the Australian lightweight double scull crew.
After producing some eye-catching displays, including a fifth placing in the double scull at the 2011 world championships and winning the national single sculls title this month, Every-Hall is considered a genuine chance to be picked in the Olympic squad.
"You never count your chickens until they've hatched and this (regatta) is what everything comes down to, basically," she said yesterday.
Every-Hall's revival would indeed be extraordinary.
A lightweight quad scull gold medallist at the world championships at Seville in 2002, she was forced out of competition for a year because of a serious ovary disorder.
She was on track to make her mark at the Athens Olympic trials when she was floored by an anaphylactic reaction to her cat.
"It was not a good time (2003-04). That was what drove me to stop," Every-Hall said.
"My husband and I said if I wanted to come back I could always do it later, so I decided to earn some money and have a family."
Based at Noosa from 2003-10, Every-Hall credits the rowing community there for helping her rediscover her passion for the sport.
"It was only when I ended up rowing masters at Noosa that I realised how much I still loved the sport and with the support of the Noosa Boat Club, they helped me get back to where I was," she said.
"I owe a lot to the people at the club. They used to come over and look after my kids (Harrison, now 5, Charlie, 3) while my husband was away for work and I went off to do training sessions."
After all her sacrifices, Every-Hall is intent on making her mark at the selection trials.
"I've been to a couple of world championships, but never an Olympic Games and obviously the Olympics is the pinnacle of our sport and something that is a dream and an ambition of mine," she said.
Highlight: Won lightweight quad scull gold medal 2002 world championships (Seville)
Ambition: Olympic selection and medal in lightweight double scull