Roncalli College rower Louise Livesey heads to the Czech Republic today to take part in the Junior World Rowing Championships full of confidence.
The 17-year-old has spent the past 11 weeks training at Lake Karapiro with her New Zealand quad in the buildup for the event and things have gone smoothly.
Livesey said the intensive buildup saw the crew on the water six days a week.
"It's been hard work but it has all gone smoothly and there has been a big improvement."
Livesey said the training had increased both her strength and technical ability and the boat was going a lot faster than when they first arrived.
The last 10 days of training have been spent at Rowing New Zealand's High Performance Centre.
Livesey will row with Esther Austin (Wanganui Collegiate), Olivia Loe (Avon) and Georgia Hammond (Marlborough Girls' College).
"We all get on well so that helps as well," Livesey said.
She flies to Frankfurt and then on to Prague, where they will train for two weeks before the championships start.
Livesey said they were all getting really excited as the departure looms.
"We are looking forward to getting there and on on the water."
It is the first time Livesey has represented her country but her selection was no real surprise after winning two of three elite under-18 girls' sculling trophies on offer at the the New Zealand Secondary Schools Rowing Championships, the Maadi Cup.
Livesey had to juggle training on Lake Karapiro with her school work, which was done in conjunction with St Peter's College in Cambridge, where she studied for three hours a day until the training stepped up.
Her day off was spent relaxing, going to the movies or supermarket shopping.
The New Zealand squad to Prague will consist of a junior women's coxless four and quad and a junior men's eight, double scull, coxed four and quad scull.
Livesey's selection keeps up her school's impressive ability to produce national junior representatives.
Fin Scott and Stephen Burt have also made New Zealand Rowing teams over the past two seasons.
Scott has been training in Prague for the Under-23 World Rowing Championships this weekend in Brest, Belarusia.
He will compete in the lightweight coxless four with Avon's James Lassche and Waikato's Graham Oberlin-Brown and Curtis Rapley.
- The Timaru Herald