Emma Twigg began rowing in 2001 for Hawke’s Bay Rowing Club and Napier Girls’ High School. Within two years she was representing New Zealand for the first time at the 2003 World Rowing Junior Championships in Athens, Greece, as part of the women’s eight. After two years in this boat class, Emma switched to the single sculls and in 2005 won gold at the World Rowing Junior Championships and placed 4th at the World Rowing U23 Championships in Amsterdam.
After another stint at sweeping in 2006 with the elite women’s eight Emma returned to the single sculls in 2007, winning the World Rowing U23 Championships and placing 6th at the elite World Rowing Championships to qualify for the Beijing Olympic Games. She has competed at three Olympic Games in the single, coming extremely close to a medal in both London and Rio. In what was Emma’s most dominant year, she went through the 2014 season unbeaten against some of the world’s greatest women single scullers, finishing with a World Championship title in Amsterdam.
After two years off following the Rio Olympics, Emma had her next international appearance at World Rowing Cup II in 2019. With a new coach it was straight back to the top for the New Zealand’s most decorated women’s single sculler. Gold medals at World Rowing Cups II and III as well as a win at Henley were proof that Emma was back and better than ever. Wrapping up an incredibly successful 2019 with a silver at the World Rowing Championships was a fantastic result.
During Emma’s stellar rowing career she has also completed a number of qualifications, including a Bachelor of Communication and a master’s degree in international sports management (FIFA). She is a cycle mechanic, a marriage celebrant, and has completed her boatmaster’s qualification. Emma is currently pursuing a career in real estate.