Gunnery breaks London’s sprint dominance
WEST Drayton’s Joel Gunnery broke the dominance of the big London sprint clubs after winning the 200m Kayak Junior Sprint at the London Youth Games for Hillingdon.
The 14-year-old, who paddles with the Sharks’ wild water racing club, only began canoeing last year in sessions at Hillingdon Leisure Centre, in Uxbridge.
Fellow Sharks paddler Lianna Nolan also represented Hillingdon at the event at the London Regatta Centre in what was the Royal Albert Dock. Nolan finished tenth in the slalom and then sixth in the senior 200m sprint to cap of a fine performance for the club.
Sharks development coach Neal Underwood said: “From beginner to London Youth Games champion in a year is impressive by anyone’s standards.
“Two finalists is a good achievement and the beginning of something much bigger. The Sharks have some top coaches and some excellent youngsters coming through but we always want more.”
The Sharks’ slalom team paddle at Harefield on a Monday evening under the guidance of Gordon Walling, who is part of the development coaching team for British Canoeing.
Their sprint team paddle on Tuesdays and Fridays at Sac, opposite Yeading Marina, with former Polish national champion Beata Fabinska.
The club is always looking for new members and anyone is welcome to join, regardless of experience. The Sharks will provide all necessary kit.
For more information about the club, visit www.thesharks.org.uk, email email@example.com or call Underwood on 07951 770 241.
n IMPRESSIVE: Joel Gunnery