STAR ROWER BACK IN TOWN

Hilary Ballinger in­spires St Mary’s stu­dents

Western Times - - FRONT PAGE -

HILARY Ballinger may have left Charleville for board­ing school many years ago, but she came home to Charleville on Mon­day and spent some times in­spir­ing the pupils of her for­mer pri­mary school.

The 18-year-old elite rower re­cently hit the world stage, com­pet­ing in the Czech Repub­lic as part of the Aus­tralian ju­nior team at the World Row­ing Cham­pi­onships.

Part of a four-woman crew, Ballinger and her team­mates Leukie Smith, Phoebe Robin­son and Jes­sica Scott placed sec­ond in their heat, third in their semi-fi­nal and fifth in the fi­nal for their class.

Re­turn­ing to St Mary’s to share her ex­pe­ri­ence with cur­rent pupils, Ballinger spoke to them about the ded­i­ca­tion and com­mit­ment it takes to be a pro­fes­sional sportsper­son.

As a part­ing gift, Ballinger also do­nated her Aus­tralian uni­form to the school, with stu­dents ea­ger to see the of­fi­cial Aus­tralian kit up close.

PHO­TOS: ST MARY'S SCHOOL CHARLEVILLE

ES­TEEMED GUEST: For­mer St Mary's pupil Hilary Ballinger vis­its the school to talk about the life of a pro­fes­sional ath­lete.

The chil­dren were de­lighted to see and hold Hilary’s of­fi­cial team uni­form.

Hilary’s row­ing kit was given to St Mary’s as a gift from the past stu­dent.

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