FRIENDS SELECTED IN CANOE TEAM
IT is an impressive feat to make the Australian team in any sport, but to do so alongside a close friend is something extra special.
Seventeen-year-olds Kira Wall and Louis Richardson were already good friends when they joined the Swan Canoe Club together in 2009, but the pair have managed to grow even closer after they were named in the 2017 Australian Junior Canoe Slalom team.
Kira, of White Gum Valley, competes in both kayak and canoe and already has more than 70 medals and trophies under her belt, including a 2017 under-18 Australian national K1 championship title and a third-place finish in the 2017 Oceania Championships in the junior C1 race.
She also has plenty of international experience, competing at the Junior World Championships in Poland last year, and is well into her preparation for this year’s competition in Slovakia next month.
“As soon as I started paddling whitewater, there was no going back,” she said.
“It’s addictive, the rush of surfing waves and the rush of racing against the clock.
“But really I think what I love most is the people you meet and the places it takes you.
“Everyone remembers their first tour – mine was New Zealand in 2014 and it was such a great trip.
“Since then, kayaking has taken me to Europe, New Zealand again and Sydney, Melbourne and Tasmania multiple times, all along the way meeting great people.”
South Fremantle resident Louis, who focuses on kayaking, has also had some success early in his career, including being the second-placed junior in the 2017 ICF International Australian Open K1 race.
After a strong showing at last year’s Junior World Championships, he said he was looking to improve his technique for this year’s competition.
“It is a mixture of physical and technical ability which makes it challenging, but also very rewarding,” he said.
The pair have been nominated for the Community Newspaper Group’s Local Sports Stars award for their dedication and success in the sport they love.
Louis Richardson and Kira Wall.