A YOUNG star on the rise, Jon Trovas notched up some incredible achievements in rowing before injury cut short his career.
But it's the valuable life lessons the demanding sport taught him that he treasures and is keen to impart on his young charges.
Trovas has made the successful transition from competitor to coach and has been appointed head of Rockhampton Grammar School's rowing program.
He has arrived in the Beef Capital, excited about the challenge of working in a regional area and further developing a rowing program that is highly regarded and has been consistently successful.
And in the short time he has been here, Trovas is impressed with the talent in his ranks.
"There are some really promising young athletes in the program," he said.
"From the testing already done, there is some really good potential.
"My role here is to continue what has been building over the past five years while John Smythe was here. I really want to grow the program and continue the successes at state and national level."
And Trovas knows firsthand what it takes to make it to the top.
He was selected in the Australian junior rowing team in 2008 and the following year was invited to the Australian Institute of Sport on a scholarship.
Unfortunately, he was plagued by injury and made the decision to end his competitive rowing career.
But that end marked the start of something new for Trovas. He started coaching in 2010 and has not looked back.
His crews have won three Head of the River regattas in Brisbane and 30 state level medals at school championships.
"I just love doing it," he said. "I love working with young people and mentoring them. It is great to see them bettering themselves as people and as rowers."
Trovas said he was drawn to RGS because it presented new opportunities, including a move from Brisbane where he has lived most of his life.
"But the main attraction was to come to a school with such a rich culture and history in the sport," Trovas explains.
"RGS has long been recognised as being very competitive and for performing well consistently."
Trovas said as a young competitor, he found rowing to be a great escape.
"At school and university, there was always that pressure on you. I always found it to be very therapeutic to be out on the water at 5 o'clock in the morning, with seven other guys in the boat, just smashing down the river.
"It was such an enjoyable experience.
"As rowers, you were always striving for that perfect stroke and when that happened it felt really good as the boat accelerated through the water."
Trovas said rowing had taught him many valuable lessons that went far beyond the water.
"More than anything, it teaches you time management, which has helped me hugely in other areas including university and work.
"You get very good at getting things done and sticking to timelines.
"It instils discipline in young rowers, and that's not necessarily something that can be learned in the classroom or the workplace.
"And most importantly, it teaches you that never-say-die attitude."
Trovas said he had settled in well to Rockhampton and was really enjoying the country vibe.
"It only takes five minutes to get anywhere. When you're in Brisbane, five minutes will generally get you from one set of lights to the next," he said with a laugh.
But it is clear that he has quickly warmed to the city.
"It's a nice community and I'm really enjoying it," he said.
"I've been blown away by the support from the parent group, they're fantastic. The kids are great and I'm looking forward to working with them every day.
"I'm loving it and I think my decision to come here has been one of the best I've made."
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