SOME school-leavers have a gap year to save money before heading to uni, so they spend their time behind a check-out or serving fast food.
Former Moura teenager Ben Morley's gap year is just a bit different - he will represent his country.
The 18-year-old was selected to row in the Australian Junior Men's Quad team at the World Junior Rowing Championships in France from August 4 to 8.
In his biggest birthday present yet, Morley learnt of his green and gold selection in the same week he turned 18.
Morley has taken the year off studies to focus his full attention on his rowing.
After winning gold and silver at the 2009 Australian Rowing Championships in March at Lake Barrington in Tasmania, Morley was chosen to attend the AUSJETS AIS Camp (Junior Elite Talent Squad) conducted at the AIS in Canberra in early April.
From there, the talented teenager was chosen to trial at the National Junior Selection Regatta held in the Olympic Rowing Course at Penrith in April. He won the “A” Single final by four boat-lengths.
Morley's Australian selection has been five years in the making since he first stepped into a boat in year eight after attending Rockhampton Grammar.
Grammarians' coach Alan Bromiley said Morley had the potential to row at the Olympics one day.
“He's certainly got the potential.
“He's born with a good motor and everything's in his favour,” Bromiley said.
Morley has been training in Rockhampton twice daily, seven days a week, under Bromiley with a program set by his Australian coach, Lincoln Handley, and will head to AIS in Canberra on June 20 to attend the second of three week-long training camps with his fellow quad members.
Morley won his first Australian gold medal at 14 in 2006 as a member of the Open Schoolboys Coxed Quad Scull at Lake Barrington and then went on to create history for the Rockhampton Grammar School by winning three gold medals in the Singles, Doubles and Open Schoolboys Coxed Quad Scull at the Australian Rowing Championships held at Nagambie Lakes in 2007.
Family told Central Telegraph fundraising events were planned to help him get to France, as rowing was an amateur sport, and the cost was prohibitive.
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