Student Spotlight: Taryn Richmond

This is the first feature in our new ‘Student Spotlight’ series, aiming to highlight a range of inspiring students across Auckland for their involvement and love of sport. First up is year 12 Rosehill College student, Taryn Richmond.

Taryn is stalwart of the Rosehill rowing team, and during the winter season she plays netball at premier level for both school and club. We caught up with her to find out about the role sport plays in her life, and how she’s staying motivated during lockdown.


How did you get into netball and rowing?

I couldn’t wait to start playing netball at Future Fern Level when I was 6 because I used to sit on the sideline watching my sister and was always dragged along because Mum coached her team. When I was old enough to start playing I hit the ground running because I already knew the rules. I have been playing ever since and played at representative levels for both school & club. This year I was named into a Senior Premier team for both club & school and cannot wait to start playing when we return from corona-cation.

When I was year 7 I was dragged along by Mum once again to my sisters rowing regattas. Her coach made me cox a few times. I tried rowing then too but was too little. A few years later I started high school and gave rowing a go, the coaches looked me up and down and doubted I would be a good rower as I was so small. I persisted anyway. There was only one other girl who joined the rowing team that year from my school and she towered over me – we were a funny looking duo so the coaches doubted we would be good together. Our first race at Lake Pupuke confirmed that as we tipped out of the boat after two strokes, but we managed to get back in and finish the race. We were so determined & persisted and did really well together. We had a lot of success. The best result in our novice season was winning the U18 Novice Girls B final at MAADI with the 7th fastest time across the day. We continued to do well and also won Silver at North Island Club Champs. I also went on to row a Single Scull and got 4th in the U16 A final at MAADI 2019 – my only goal was to not get last in that race as I was the slowest qualifier, I was pretty proud of that result. This year I finished up my 3rd season rowing and enjoyed a lot more time in a bigger boat, racing the Club Coxless quad was a good time, our best results were 4th place in the A final at North Island Club Champs, and followed that up with a 5th in the National Club Champs a few weeks later. As with many other rowers in NZ, I never got to see what my results would have been representing Rosehill College at MAADI 2020 due to Coronavirus.


What motivates you to play sport?

It’s fun and I have met lots of people along the way I probably never would have if it wasn’t for the sport I was involved in. I enjoy keeping fit and challenging myself to always improve. Plus, I like the feeling of success!


What has been your favourite sporting moment over the past year?

I was pretty proud of my U16 Single result at MAADI 2019 and racing with and against older peers in the Club Coxless Quad event this year. Our results were very consistent across the season and we gave it everything at Nationals – even though it was a 5th place, it was a hard fought 5th place and couldn’t have gone any harder and rowed a personal best.


Who is your sporting role model and why?

When I was younger it was Laura Langman because I play her position on the netball court, I even used to wear the long white socks like her and everything.


How are you keeping active during lockdown?

I am lucky because I have a big bubble and we are all really active and motivate each other. I do lots of HIIT, Tabata and Running. Each member of the bubble has had a turn at prescribing each workout and it keeps it interesting.


What are you looking forward to once the lockdown is over?

I can’t wait to see my friends, get back into the school routine & back onto the netball court to start the new season.

Rowing would have been in the off season anyway so a rest from the intensity of training hasn’t hurt.

At school, we are training for an adventure race that hopefully will still go ahead, so keen to get out on the MTB trails in Hunua and Totara Park.


If you’d like to nominate a student athlete, coach or official to be featured, please email with their full name, school, and why you’re nominating them.