Former Bendigo rower Livia Rosaia is relishing the experience of representing her country at the 2022 Trans Tasman Cup on Lake Burley Griffin.
Rosaia, who was competing on the Australian U21 women's quad scull squad, raced against New Zealand teams during the three-day regatta at Canberra.
After a series of tough clean-sweep races across multiple categories, Australia reclaimed the coveted Rusty Robertson trophy.
Upon reflection on the experience, Rosaia couldn't be prouder of her efforts.
"When I put on the green and gold racing suit I feel that I'm on a different level," she said.
"As an athlete, you stand up taller while embracing the opportunity to represent Australia and show family and friends how hard you've worked.
"It made me feel that all the years of hard work had finally paid off."
The Trans Tasman Regatta between Australia and New Zealand started in 1888 and the 2022 race marked the first time it had been contested since pre-COVID.
When Rosaia found out that she'd been given the opportunity to compete at the prestigious event - it was a surreal moment.
Her appointment to the national U21 squad came on the back of strong performances at nationals and a rigorous trial process.
"They pulled me aside after it all and told me that I'd made the squad," she said.
"It honestly didn't even feel real and it took me a few weeks to fully grasp that I'd made it."
However, then came the intense training regime in the lead-up to the Cup.
As tough as the process was, Rosaia embraced the experience of training with and under some of the country's best athletes.
"The training was intense, but I enjoyed every moment of it and just told myself to keep working as hard as possible," she said.
Head coach of the U21 squad Ben Southwell said all athletes put on top performances.
"I'm very proud of the way the athletes handled themselves, with the changes to crews and the schedule, and importantly how well they raced as a team consistently over the three days," he said.
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