Cara Nel

November 26, 2000


About Athlete

I have produced outstanding academic results in all my subjects. I believe that attending a university in the USA will improve my rowing ability and give me opportunities to create a successful career. I am a hard worker with dedication and perseverance. I perform well regardless of stress levels and have very good time management skills due to my training schedule that required 4-6 hours per day, 7 days a week (including travel time). I love rowing as a team sport, because of the mutual support that it demands. Although I am dedicated to sport and academics, I also make time to relax. I enjoy spending time with friends, camping, reading and singing. I believe that excellence is not something you achieve, it is a lifestyle to which you commit. 

SAT Total Score

St Andrew's School for Girls


Nominee for Junior Rower of the year South Africa 2017

Competed at World Rowing Junior Championships 2017 and 2018 in the JW2- and achieved 6th place in the B-final in this event for both Championships

Junior National Squad Member 2017 and 2018

South African Schools Rowing Union u16 Development Squad Member 2016

Gauteng Squad Member 2016-2018

Competed at South African Schools Rowing Championships 2015-2018 with the following results:

JWu14 4x+ Gold

JWu15 1x Silver

JWu16 4x+ Gold

JWu19 2- Silver (2017)

JWu19 4+ Gold (2017)

JWu19 4x+ Silver (2018)

JWu19 2x+ Silver (2018)

Competed at Gauteng Schools Rowing Championships 2014-2017

Competed at South African Senior Rowing Championships 2017 and 2018

Competed at Gauteng Senior Rowing Championships 2016-2018

What makes you different?

I am a bilingual girl from South Africa with a passion for rowing that has lead to representing my country at the World Junior Rowing Championships for two years (2017 and 2018). I work exceptionally hard, not only in my sport, but in the classroom as well, achieving a 92% year mark average including an extra subject (Advanced Programme Mathematics) in a Language of Learning that is not my Home Language. I am determined and do everything within my abilities to achieve my goals. My motto is: "When the going gets tough, the tough gets going."

Why do you want to compete in college?

I want to compete in college because I love the sport and want to improve my skills. I have a competitive nature and rowing is a positive outlet where I can express this quality. I also enjoy the team spirit that is intrinsic to rowing and cannot imagine my future without this type of support and friendships.

College Goals?

My college goal is to finish with a doctorate degree in a branch of physics. Currently I am interested in astrophysics and nuclear physics, but I know that my interests might change during college and I am willing to adapt to these changes.

Anything else we should know?

My Life Sciences Research Project was about Post-Exercise Proteinuria Prevalence in the Teenage Female Members of my school rowing club. I really enjoyed this project as it combined my passion for research and sport. I did the research for this project during my school rowing camp and completed the final draft during my training camp leading up to the 2018 World Junior Rowing Championships.

I have completed more than 55 hours of community service throughout high school, including working at an old age home, working at a preschool for disabled children and packing food for Stop Hunger Now.

I enjoy participating in athletics and netball.

The research my father did in Antarctica (1989), which was subsequently sent to NASA, sparked my interest in astrophysics. The patient answers and explanations I received from him before he passed away, inspired me to consider research in my field of interest.