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Isabella Scammell

A Journey of Rowing, Resilience, and the Pursuit of Justice

In the vast expanses of Central Western NSW, a story of determination and dreams unfolds—a tale that finds its heart in Cowra and its spirit on the glistening waters of Sydney. This is the story of Isabella "Bella" Scammell, whose journey from the countryside to the competitive world of rowing is nothing short of inspirational.

Born on July 20, 2003, Bella's early years on a property just outside Cowra grounded her with values of hard work and resilience. Her transition to boarding school in Orange further sculpted her character, instilling discipline and fostering a sense of independence that would become invaluable in the years to follow. However, it was her move to Sydney, driven by a dual ambition for university and rowing, that marked the beginning of an extraordinary chapter in her life.

Bella's relationship with rowing began at Kinross Wolaroi School in year 7, 2016, where she first took to the water, primarily competing in quads and, eventually, in an eight in her final school season. Living just a stone's throw away from her rowing club, Sydney Rowing Club, Bella has fully immersed herself in the sport, balancing gruelling training schedules with academic pursuits.

Currently completing a law degree at the University of Technology, Sydney, Bella's aspirations extend beyond the riverbanks. She harbours ambitions of a career in either sports or criminal law, a testament to her commitment to justice and fairness, principles likely honed through the discipline of competitive sport.

Bella's rowing career has seen a meteoric rise since her school days. In 2021, she represented Australia for the first time as a member of the U19 Australian Women’s Quad, competing at the World Simulation Regatta in Adelaide. This was a formidable challenge, pitting her team against the Australian U21, U23, and even Olympic teams—a daunting yet exhilarating experience for the young rower. Her trajectory continued upward in 2022, competing in the U21 Four against New Zealand at the Trans-Tasman regatta and in the U23 Coxed Four at the U23 World Championships in Varese. Bella's selection for the U23 Four to compete at the upcoming U23 World Championships in Canada is a clear indication of her prowess and potential.

For Bella, Kim Brennan stands as a towering figure of influence. Brennan's remarkable journey in rowing, paralleled with her own challenges in managing law studies and life's demands, resonates deeply with Bella. Kim embodies the qualities Bella aspires to: drive commitment, dedication, and humility. Brennan's speech at Bella's school, recounting her own trials and triumphs, left an indelible mark, guiding Bella's ambitions and approach to both her sport and studies.

Isabella Scammell's story is a powerful reminder of the beauty of pursuing one's passions with determination and integrity. From the tranquil countryside of Cowra to the competitive waters of Sydney and beyond, Bella's journey encapsulates the essence of dedication and the relentless pursuit of excellence.