DEBUT FOR YOUNG SHARKS
Kayaking stars impress during first competitive outing
HEAD coach Beata Fabinski was in buoyant mood after a dozen of Harefield Sharks’ newest recruits made quite a splash on their competitive kayaking debuts.
Seven girls and five boys, the majority of whom came through the training programme, overseen by former Polish national champion Fabinski produced encouraging performances, with Ella Conroy and James Reed achieving promotion in their respective events at the Division 4 slalom at Kingsland Basin, in north-east London,
Fabinski, appointed in March to oversee the development of the expanding paddling venture, joined in the spirit of things by swapping her beloved kayak for a first ever dabble in a canoe in the slalom doubles. She hailed the results as evidence the partnership between the Leisure Centre and Hillingdon Council is bearing fruit.
She said: “The youngsters were brilliant and obviously having a great time. Nearly all of these paddlers came via our programme at Hillingdon Leisure Centre Pool, which has been a great success and great partnership. The centre and the council have shown great vision – long may it continue.
“This was fantastic fun, a great family event and an ideal way to get into competitive canoeing. It is the first time I have ever been to a slalom or in a canoe, so it was great to be part of the fun.”
Conroy arguably produced the paddle of the day to be second on her competitive bow, earning her instant promotion to National Division 3 of Ladies K1.
Tallulah Lacey was the first of the Junior 16s home with new clubmates Megan Rice, Grace Hanmore, Issey Nelson, Ellen Butcher and Caitlin Edwards not far behind. Not to be outdone, James Reed came third in the men’s K1, earning his promotion to National Division 3 in the process.
Khaleel Zainddin, 13, came eighth overall, while nine-year-old Alex Brennan was first U12 home with James Hanmore and Eamon Brennan close behind. Two entries in the canoe singles, saw Amelia Comes win the ladies and Reed come second in the men’s race.
Members then formed some interesting pairings for the canoe doubles, where 10-yearold Hanmore partnered in-form Grant Underwood, who had earlier won the officials event, to victory.
Fabinski, meanwhile, made light of her transfer to an alternative water vehicle by coming in third alongside fellow coach Neal Underwood. Both crews were promoted to Division 3.
If you want to give canoeing a go visit www.thesharks.org.uk or contact Neal on 07951 770 241.
FUN’: Harefield Sharks girls