Verayna to fly flag for SASI on world stage

02 May 2017

Star young athlete Verayna Zilm will fly the flag for South Australia and the SA Sports Institute (SASI) when she represents Australia at the Under 23 World Rowing Championships in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, between July 19 and 24.

Verayna, 19, was the only South Australian to make the U23 team which was chosen after the recent underage selection regatta at the Sydney International Regatta Centre.

Verayna will compete in the Women's Lightweight Quadruple Scull event with Wallis Russell, Madeline Williams and Georgina Masters. The crew is young by under 23 standards, having competed in under 21 events last season. At the selection regatta the crew posted a time of 6.45 seconds which was inside the benchmark qualifier of 6.52 needed to be in line for selection for the world championships.

Verayna, who will relocate to Sydney on Monday, May 8, says she is looking forward to the months ahead.

"This will be my first world championships and I am really excited although I haven't much time to relocate and sort out my uni studies,'' she said.

''To be the only South Australian is special but I know the other girls well so that will be good.

''We are a very young under-23 team so I am hoping to do well and hope to be in the team with the other girls for a few more years.

''I am looking forward to looking at the other (competing) crews and learning another culture and to see what the benchmark of the other crews is.

''It will be back to plenty of training and then going to a training camp in Italy - I am really looking forward to that.

"I will miss my family as we are very close but they see this as a fantastic opportunity for me.''

As far as expectations for the coming titles Verayna is not sure what to expect.

''Last year the Italian crew broke the world record but I am not sure if they will be back again,'' she said.

South Australia will also be represented at the U21 Rowing Championships by Kane Grant who secure himself a spot in the Men’s Coxless Pair with Jack Deans. Kane was able to cement his position on the Australian team for the second year in a row after an outstanding performance in Sydney.

SASI rowing coach Jason Lane has also been named as the Head coach for the U21 Australian Rowing Team. Jason will lead the group of young athletes as they take on New Zealand in the annual Trans-Tasman Regatta. The U21 Trans-Tasman Regatta is split over two competitions, the first in Sydney from 29 June to 1 July, and the second at Lake Karapiro, New Zealand, from 24 to 26 August.

Nationals 2017 Kane Grant