UNDERWOOD CALLED UP FOR GB
Paddler called up to represent GB at championships
HAREFIELD Sharks paddler Grant Underwood was an excited man this week as he reflected on an international call-up he thought had passed him by.
Underwood has been selected to represent Great Britain at the U23 World Wild Water Racing Championships in America later this year, news which means his sporting world has turned full circle.
Wind back to 2014 and the 21year-old had missed the selection race for GB after sustaining serious injuries which kept him from racing for a whole year. He was still on crutches last December and though still not fully recovered his hard work in training has now earned him a place on the plane to North Carolina in early August.
Underwood admits he was not sure such a chance would come his way again and he thanked Sharks’ head coach, former Polish Champion Beata Fabinska, and others for helping re-ignite his dream.
He said: “This is so great. After last year, I feared that it was all over, but now I am off to America to represent Great Britain.
“Obviously there are a number of people I need to thank for helping me get there. My family have been very supportive and Beata is brilliant and has really helped improve my style and fitness.
“She is a dedicated person who has been at the top herself and understands what is required.
“The club and its members have been a great source of encouragement and now there are a number of members to watch out for over the next few years.
“The Sharks is a very exciting place to be right now.
“They have got everything in place to become one of Britain’s top clubs and I am just so pleased to be part of it and to get this opportunity.”
Fabinska, who has transformed the club on and off the water since her arrival in March believes that while selection is the realisation of a dream for Underwood it is merely the start of a journey in the sport with huge potential.
She said: “Grant works really hard and is an inspiration to the up and coming youngsters. This is just the beginning!”
n CALL UP: Grant Underwood