Canoeing South Africa has announced a squad of sixteen junior paddlers selected to take part in the Olympic Hopes Sprint Regatta in Račice in the Czech Republic from 10 to 12 September.
The athletes were named after the successful conclusion of the national and SA Schools Sprint Championships at Shongweni Dam earlier this month, and the aspirant sprint paddlers will get a chance to experience an international-scale regatta for the first time as part of their long term ambitions to compete in the Olympic discipline.
Canoeing South Africa president Kim Pople pointed out that the unique Olympic Hopes regatta was important as it offered emerging sprinters that chance to race against world-class competition and gain experience in a less pressurised environment.
’This regatta is extremely important for the sprint discipline, allowing our U15, U16 and U17 paddlers a chance to compete at an international event, without the stress of it being a World Championships,” said Pople.
“Friendships forged last a lifetime with fellow athletes from all over the world, and the experience gained is invaluable. For many this is their first trip overseas, so there is always so much excitement.
“The Sprint Committee made the decision in 2019 to support this regatta, similar to the Bochum regatta in Germany, which many of our current senior paddlers attended as Juniors. This will be our second trip to the Olympic Hopes Regatta.
“Congratulations to everyone selected, we wish you well with your preparation,” she added.
Team South Africa to the Olympic Hopes Sprint Regatta
U17: Helen Jansen van Vuuren, Finlay Leask, Matthew Privett, Joshua Simpkins, Simon Chubb
U16: Neriyah Dill, Amy Duffett, Kerry Elliott, Caitlyn Evans, Luke Salmon, Lungelo Shange, Nicholas Erwee
U15: Jordan Klopper, Theo Dreyer, Tomé dos Santos, Daniel van Zyl-Smit