AT JUST the age of 16, Moura girl Elizabeth Hills was won a gold medal and competed in state and national competitions for rowing.
Last month, Elizabeth was selected for the Queensland Junior Pathway Eight rowing team for her performance at the Australian national trials at the Sydney International Regatta Centre.
Elizabeth's team was awarded a gold medal for Schoolgirl's Coxed Quad Scull, the medal for best schoolgirl crew in the country.
Elizabeth began her schooling in Theodore and Moura and went on to boarding at Rockhampton Grammar School.
"I never knew anything about rowing when I was in Moura because we didn't do it out there so I just played basketball, netball and touch when I moved to Rocky," Elizabeth said.
A sporty girl from a young age, Elizabeth has had many achievements in a number of other sports including being selected to play for the Capricorn Claws netball team.
"I wanted something different and Grammar was big in it so I tried it,"she said.
"My parents and my teachers encouraged me to as well because of my height."
This year, Elizabeth received a rowing scholarship to complete her Year 12 schooling boarding St Peter's Lutheran College in Brisbane.
"I always look back at my roots and at Grammar because it was where I got started and why I am where I am today," Elizabeth said.
Elizabeth still goes home to Moura to her parent's property for school holidays.
"And growing up on a property has given me the strength to be independent and live in Brisbane on my own at school," she said.
"I wouldn't be able to do it without my rural upbringing."
Elizabeth does 10 training sessions a week and despite the early starts, says it all worth it.
"Training is hard, getting up at 4am and training for two hours then going to school and training again in the afternoon," Elizabeth said.
"I love the adrenaline at the start and the atmosphere.
"And knowing every muscle in your body is going to hurt but it will all be worth it when you cross the finish line."
Elizabeth hopes to continue rowing after she graduates later this year.
"Hopefully represent Australia in the Olympics and possibly get a scholarship to row in the States," Elizabeth said.
"And help other young people achieve their goals and educate them."