Walling’s drafted in to boost elite pad­dlers

CA­NOE SLALOM

Harefield Gazette - - SPORT -

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

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