Hela Belhaje Mohamed, Junior Women's Solo, Tunisia, 2021 World Rowing Beach Sprint Finals, Oeiras, Portugal / World Rowing/Benedict Tufnell

All eyes were on Tunisia this past fall during the 2021 World Rowing Beach Sprint Finals. More specifically, on the Tunisian junior rowers. Hela Belhaje Mohamed took home the gold medal in the Junior Women’s Solo, and bronze in the Junior Mixed Double, and has her sights fixed on this year’s event. She is our March 2022 Rower of the Month.

How was your 2021 rowing season?

2021 was amazing and my best year ever. I learned a lot of things that made me to be the best version of myself, and now a world champion!

How did you first get into rowing? What about Coastal rowing?  

I started rowing thanks to my brother. He started rowing before me, and was a member of the Tunisian rowing team. Every day, I liked rowing more and more; then my coach Ibtissem Trimech selected me to be a member of Tunisian rowing team too. I like coastal rowing, it makes me feel free, especially when there are waves. It feels like an adventure.

Hela Belhaje Mohamed, Junior Women’s Solo, Tunisia, 2021 World Rowing Beach Sprint Finals, Oeiras, Portugal  © World Rowing/Benedict Tufnell

When you aren’t rowing, what does your life look like?

When I am not rowing, my days are a bit empty because my I spend my day training: rowing is my passion, and I am so proud of it.

What are your upcoming goals in rowing?

I will compete at the World Rowing Under 19 and Under 23 Championships in Varese, Italy in July, and then later in the season the World Rowing Beach Sprint Finals in Wales. I am so excited. I hope to get another medal, and I’m working really hard to do it.

Where is your favourite rowing location?

We are only training in Tunis, on the lake located at the city centre. I like it there and I spend a lot of time on the lake.

If you could give one piece of advice to a rower starting out, what would it be?

To me, the most important thing for a rower is to be patient because we spend a lot of time on a training session and sometimes it may be boring; I also say it is important to be strong and brave.

What is the most memorable piece of advice that has been said to you ?

“No pain, no gain” – I should always be powerful to achieve my goals, then I can be the best!

Do you have a mentor or athlete that you admire?

My Coach Ibtissem Trimech, who was also an international rower: she believes in me, and she is working so hard to get the best version of me. We hope to give Tunisia the first gold medal ever at the World Rowing Championships. Of course, my lovely family also supports me and makes a lot of sacrifices: I love them very much, they make me very happy, and I hope I make them proud.