Kayakers out for worlds
Fourteen paddlers from Porirua Canoe Kayak Club (PCKC) will be off to Canada in August after outstanding performances at the New Zealand waka ama trials on Lake Karapiro over Easter.
The PCKC paddlers will fund their own way to the World Waka Ama Sprint Championships in Calgary. Club captain Turi Hodges also qualified in a crew made up of elite paddlers from across the country.
The junior 16s boys’ crew turned in race times well under the required standard for both the 500m and 1000m events, placing them in a favourable position for medal contention at the worlds. The open women’s crew also beat strong competition to qualify as one of the top in their division.
‘‘ These are outstanding achievements for both teams, who are mainly family members and close friends,’’ 2011 New Zealand waka sprint champion Caleb Wharepapa says. ‘‘Their makeup is unique as top crews will often be made up of paddlers from around the country.’’
The fact all the paddlers live locally means they can get together every day says Teremoana Hodges, manager of the open women’s crew.
‘‘Their dedication to the sport sees them train in and around Porirua Harbour twice a day, both water and land- based training, six days a week. They commence as early as 5.30am and regularly clock up dis- tances between 10 and 25km.’’
In addition to their commitment to training, the paddlers will be fundraising and seeking sponsorship opportunities from local businesses and organisations.
These Porirua paddlers are committed to competing with distinction at the world championships and are keen to represent their families, their community and their country with pride, Hodges says.
PCKCS will have a ‘‘text to sponsor’’ initiative up and running soon, which will enable family, friends and the wider community to get behind them in their buildup towards Calgary.
World campaign: Members of Porirua Canoe Kayak Club that will be spending chilly mornings and many afternoons in training in the coming weeks for the world champs. From left, back row, Aroha Grant, Teremoana Hodges-tulepu, Mereana Hodges, Marianna Hodges, Pania Tahau-hodges, Naomi Brooking; front row, Kingston Aporo, Simon Allan, Hawaiki Wallace, Elijah Brooking, Tyran Te Paa, Turi Tulepu.