Goondiwindi’s Ally Findlay has been selected in the Australian Women’s Under 21 Coxless Pairs at the Trans -Tasman Regatta later this month.
Findlay, who trains with the Griffith University Surfers Paradise Rowing Club on the Gold Coast has partnered up with Adelaide-based rower, Ella Bramwell.
After being invited to Australian Team selections the pair qualified for the home and away series against New Zealand.
“To be able to say you have worn the green and gold is not an everyday achievement,” Finlay said.
“It is something special. I think that is what I am most excited about, to put on my green and gold zootie.”
Finlay took up rowing in Grade 8, 2013, in her first year at St Hilda’s Boarding School on the Gold Coast, being inspired by her two older brothers who had also rowed.
“One of my greatest memories is making history for our school when the first St Hilda’s crew won the BSRA School Girls First VIII race.”
Graduating from school last year, has allowed Finlay to focus on rowing and give it a really good crack. She is also studying a dual business degree at the University of Queensland.
It’s a big commitment for the athlete.
“Since Christmas, I calculated I have only been home for about a total of five days,” Finlay said.
“You realise very early on in the sport of rowing, especially if you live in a rural area like myself, that some sacrifices have to be made in order to get what you want.
“It was only this year that I realised making the Australian Rowing Team was not just a dream, but something I could make a reality.”
Since being selected Finlay has been constantly travelling back and forth between Brisbane and Adelaide to train.
“You could say I know my way around those two airports.”
Since going to university in Brisbane, Finlay has been given the opportunity to train with Queensland Academy of Sport.
“It has been a whirlwind few months since April, but it’s also pretty exciting and a new experience for me,” Finlay said.
“I can’t wait to compete in the Under 21 Trans-Tasman Regatta, where Australia and New Zealand go head to head.”
The competition is completed in two series: Series I, Sydney International Regatta Centre (June 28-30 June) and Series II Lake Karapiro, New Zealand (August 23-25).
“We have a pre-competition camp before our Sydney regatta which I will flying down for in the coming weeks,” Finlay said.