Former St Patrick's rower Sam Oostendorp has been selected in the Victorian men's lightweight coxless four crew to row at the Australian Rowing Championships this week.
He will battle for the Penrith Cup, which is the interstate lightweight four competition. Oostendorp will face the best rowers from other states in the hope of winning a national title.
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His selection come after months of training and trials for the crew, a process that has been taxing.
"It's pretty tough," he said.
As a lightweight rower Oostendorp must be a specific weight to meet regulations.
He said before December he must weigh in at 74.2kg, before nationals he must be 72.5kg and once at the regatta he must be bang on 70kg, as it is a World Rowing Federation recognised event.
It means, in his words, a lot of salad and grapes in his diet.
Training involves countless ergo and on water sessions and seat racing, to help pick one crew from a squad of rowers to compete at nationals.
This is the second time the 22-year-old has been selected in the crew, also picked in 2020. Due to COVID-19 restrictions the regatta was cancelled before nationals could be run, so he was unable to race in the crew as he had hoped.
Oostendorp began his rowing journey at St Patrick's College.
He rowed in the 2016 Head of the Lake for the firsts crew, where it finished third.
He said that rowing was an immediate interest of is and a sport he enjoyed from the start.
"I really liked rowing because it was almost linear in the way that the effort you put in, the benefits you're guaranteed to reap," he said.
"With footy it takes more talent, you've got to learn to read the play and be talented in that sense. I was always fit and able to work hard but just sucked at knowing where to run."
"Rowing's something that just worked with my physical make-up and my abilities. It's good fun, I love just working really hard and every night going home and falling asleep within about five seconds."
Once he graduated high school, Oostendorp moved to Melbourne for university and joined Banks Rowing Club. He said it wasn't until the last few weeks of his high school rowing that he realised he wanted to and could row after high school.
"Brendan Scott (St Patrick's coach) said that you can continue rowing after school at a club level ... so that kind of seed was planted in my head," he said.
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