Rowing: New mums Brooke Francis, Lucy Spoors embrace changing lifestyles on, off water

NZ Rowing's newest women's doubles combination hope to make an impact off the water, as they return to the sport.

Lucy Spoors, who won silver in the eight in Tokyo, has teamed up with Brooke Francis in the boat for the upcoming European season, but change goes beyond just a new class for Spoors, as both she and Francis return to the water, just months after becoming mums.

At the moment, life is all about learning for Spoors - a new boat combination, a new baby and a new normal.

"We're probably still not sleeping that much," she told Newshub.

Spoors, 32, can thank six-month-old Rupert for that. She has joined Francis - who combined with Hannah Osbourne for double sculls silver at Tokyo - as both return from pregnancy and leading the change of what that looks like.

"I've seen a lot of dads and, more recently, we haven't seen a lot of mums return after pregnancy," said Spoors. "I want to give it my best shot, because I want this to be an achieveable thing for women going forward."

For Rowing NZ boss David Meates, that means consulting other sports and learning on the fly.

Lucy Spoors and the NZ eight celebrate a 2019 world title
Lucy Spoors (second from right) and the NZ women's eight celebrate a 2019 world title. Photo credit: Photosport

"It's a totally new experience for rowing and it's been an exciting journey," said Meates. "I think, collectively, we're making it up together."

Said Spoors: "Rowing New Zealand has open ears, because they don't know what I don't know and it's new, and we're learning as we go."

While the boat's yet to qualify for next year's Paris Olympics, Spoors already dreams of sharing that experience with Rupert.

"I would love to be able to be in Paris with him watching, so I've thought of it and that's why I'm here." 

Spoors is here to fight, here to win and here to learn.