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15 January 2020
By LOTTE REITER
Nhill export and rower Lucy Stephan continues to make waves in the sporting scene with a back-to-back finalist nomination for Victorian female athlete of the year.
The two-time world champion is in the running for the accolade, one of 18 categories presented at an annual Victorian Sports Awards ceremony in Melbourne next month, after missing out to table tennis player Melissa Tapper last year.
The Victorian Sports Awards recognise and celebrate the achievements of individual and team athletes, coaches, administrators and volunteers from metropolitan and regional Victoria.
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This year, Stephan is up against premier athletes including Melbourne Vixens and Australian Diamonds netballer Liz Watson, billiards world champion Anna Lynch and mogul skier Jakara Anthony.
Stephan said despite the ‘incredibly talented’ list, she hoped to bring home the award.
“It’s huge and pretty cool to be recognised,” she said.
“I’m up against some incredibly talented athletes again this year, so we’ll see how we go. But it would be nice.”
Stephan, who grew up at Nhill before attending boarding school in Ballarat where she started rowing, said she always tried to keep her eyes on the ‘next step’ in her career.
It is a philosophy that has seen her represent Australia at the 2016 Rio Olympics as part of the women’s eight team, as well as the Australian women’s four at the past three World Rowing Championships.
She said she was now training on the Tamar River in Launceston, Tasmania, to prepare for trials for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.
“I started rowing in 2007-08 under my school’s rowing program, but we had no water in the lake, so we used to have to go to Geelong to practise,” she said.
“But it was from there that I really fell in love with the sport and since then it has always been: ‘what is the next thing that I can aim for?’”
The Victorian Sports Awards will be at Melbourne’s Marvel Stadium on February 26.
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