Walling’s drafted in to boost elite paddlers
HAREFIELD Sharks have appointed Gordon Walling as slalom coach to assist in the development of their elite paddlers.
Walling is one of Britain’s canoeing talent coaches and has been added to the ranks to help raise their profile and boost the club’s members progress.
This comes off the back of the slalom season opener at Shepperton Weir.
Sharks duo Amelia Combes and Grant Underwood travelled with coach Neal Underwood to the joint Division 1 and 2 event.
Combes raced with the Division 2 Ladies’ K1 and Underwood in the Men’s Division 1 K1 race, with the former, in particular, putting in an excellent display.
Following Combes sixth place finish on the Saturday, coach Underwood challenged her to continue improving and excel into the next bracket of young competitors.
He said: “Early season slaloms can often be unpredictable, they show who has been working over the winter months.
“Hopefully Amelia will start next season in Division 1.”
Team-mate Underwood was promoted to Division 1 last year, despite being known for racing rather than the slalom event. He finished in 42nd place overall following Sunday’s performance, although he produced a stronger effort on Saturday, ending up in 34th.
Underwood’s next event of the season will be a return to Wild Water, racing in a selection event at Grandtully, Scotland, in April.
Last year he represented Great Britain in the event at the U23 World Championships in America and will hope to recapture that form.
If you are interested in canoe slalom then visit the club’s website www.thesharks.org.uk, or call Neal Underwood on 07951 770241. No experience is necessary and the club will provide all kit regardless of your level.
n DEVELOPMENT: Sharks paddler Amelia Combes