Student Athlete Profile- Sarah Johnson

How many hours per week do you spend training/playing?

15-20 hours a week split between on water training and in the gym

What study are you undertaking at ANU? What year of study are you in? 

3rd year Bachelor of Criminology

How do you juggle the commitments of playing sport and studying?

I have a diary which helps keep me organised. My team is also very accommodating which helps a lot. Because so many of us are either at school or Uni they are pretty flexible with training so you can do extra training when Uni isn’t too busy and take a couple of training sessions off during exam period.

Does sport assist you in your academic pursuits?

100% it does. I can get very stressed with Uni work but exercise keeps me grounded because as soon as I am in the gym or on the water I forget all about my assessment and totally clear my head.

Greatest sporting achievement.

Either making the Junior Australian team or my club team winning the fastest women’s crew title at the Australian Championships this year.

What is your long term sporting goal?

To make the Australian premier team

Who has had the greatest influence on your sporting career thus far?

I would say probably my Canberra club coach Kirsten “Chicki” Chick. She is so dedicated to the sport and her energy and passion really drives our whole club to perform. Chicki has been one of the most motivational people in my sporting career, always pushing everyone to be their best no matter what level they are at.

Who is your sporting idol & why?

Ellyse Perry. Growing up I played a lot of soccer and I really looked up to her. She played for Australia in two different sports which I find very inspiring. She is also a total babe!

Any superstitions or unusual game day preparations?

I wouldn’t say it’s a preparation or superstition but I always get In The Air Tonight by Phil Collins stuck in my head while we go up to the starting line and end up tapping the drum solo on my oar.

Tell us something interesting or fascinating about yourself

I injured my shoulder a few years ago and was told to stop paddling so I became a sweep. Sweeping is not a skill that comes naturally to most people so I was lucky that it did for me otherwise I would have had to give up the sport. The sweep is in charge of the boat, steers and makes calls. Its definitely not as easy as it sounds because in dragon boating there are races with corners in them which get very competitive when there are multiple 40 foot boats trying to get the inside line. It can also get very stressful because there can be as little as 0.01 of a second between places so calling lifts at the right time is the difference between a place on the podium or in the crowd.

Favourite Music Artist:

What I listen to depends on my mood so I don’t really have a favourite artist. I listen to anything from Grouplove to Vince Staples

If you found yourself on Masterchef and had to cook one dish to win it all, what would your specialty dish be:

I love cooking desserts so probably an Adriano Zumbo inspired dessert