It was a big 2017 for Sydney University Boat Club’s Dyone Bettega, leading the Women’s Eight to victory at the Australian Boat Race and being awarded a Sydney University Blue. We caught up with Dyone to discuss in store for 2018.
WHEN DID YOU FIRST GET INTO ROWING?
I first started rowing in year 7 at PLC Sydney. Rowing really interested me because of how different it was to the ball sports I played growing up – the equipment and technology, not to mention the incredibly precise technique required for one stroke was a new experience for me.
WHAT MADE YOU STICK WITH THE SPORT?
I stuck with rowing because I immediately fell in love with the intensity of the sport. By ‘intensity’, I don’t just mean gruelling sessions spent exploring the depths of the pain cave, but also the intensity of the friendships, comradery and spirit within a squad.
FAVOURITE PART OF ROWING?
Although I enjoy testing my physical boundaries, I love the mental challenge that each training session presents. Whether it is to condition my body to maintain a faster speed on the erg than I’ve done previously or mentally rehearse races in order to remain calm in any situation.
HOW DO YOU BALANCE YOUR TRAINING SCHEDULE WITH STUDY AND A SOCIAL LIFE?
It is challenging to balance sport and study especially when training upwards of 12 times a week; however, I’ve always believed that sport and study go hand-in-hand. Rowing has taught me key values such as discipline, perseverance and motivation all of which are valuable skills that are transferable to the classroom and more generally, life. As for maintaining a social life, I have met amazing friends at Sydney University Boat Club (SUBC) and I feel so grateful that I get to see them and train alongside them everyday. My family and friends outside of rowing are very understanding of my commitment to the sport but I still try to meet up with them as often as I can.
HOW DOES BEING A MEMBER OF THE ELITE ATHLETE PROGRAM ASSIST IN MAINTAINING THIS BALANCE?
The Elite Athlete Program provides me with the support I need to achieve my academic and sporting goals. For example, Elite Athlete Program staff are incredibly available to help athletes submit timetable requests to accommodate training and university as well as providing us with tutors if classes are missed due to regattas. On top of all this, being a member of the Elite Athlete Program means we get access to fantastic facilities such as the David Mortimer High Performance Gym and Sports & Aquatic Centre as well as field professionals such as dieticians and psychologists.
TELL US A BIT ABOUT BEING A MEMBER OF SUBC…
SUBC is a club built on the key values of hard work, support, friendship, opportunity and integrity. Furthermore, the club breeds a very inclusive culture and we strive to always welcome new members and instil in them the same passion for the sport that we have. It is incredible to be a member of such a cohesive and fun squad.
WHAT HAS BEEN THE IMPACT OF SUBC’S NEW THYNE REID BOAT SHED?
Following the recent amalgamation of the men’s and women’s rowing clubs, the Thyne Reid Boat Shed has further strengthened the bond and spirit among the athletes. The club’s achievements in 2017 are a testament to the unity and pride the shed has brought.
WHAT WAS IT LIKE CAPTAINING THE WOMEN’S EIGHT TO VICTORY AT THE AUSTRALIAN BOAT RACE?
22/10/17 is a date I will remember for a long time. Our meticulous preparation coupled with great coaching and team cohesion were the key ingredients of this historic victory. After a very tight start, our composure, determination and trust in one another allowed us to pull away from the opposition and progressively gain clear water. It was so humbling to have led such an incredibly talented team and I couldn’t be more proud of our achievement.
AND THEN TWO MONTHS LATER, YOU WERE AWARDED A SYDNEY UNIVERSITY BLUE…
I feel so privileged to be part of the Blues tradition that recognises high achieving student athletes. This was made possible by the great program and support offered by everyone at SUBC and the Elite Athlete Program. It was such an honour to be presented my blue by David Mortimer and also share it with four other rowers from the club.
WHAT’S ON THE CARDS FOR 2018?
This year, my pair partner and I will be training towards selection trials for the U23 Australian team. I am also encouraged that SUBC will continue to produce great results at the State and National Championships as well as the 2018 AUS Nationals and Australian Boat Race towards the end of the year.
WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN FIVE YEARS?
I want to maintain my passion and dedication to rowing, complete my bachelor degree and return for postgraduate study. Above all, I am determined to reach the highest competitive level that my physicality and mentality will take me.