Pope mo­bile on kayak course

Guardian Express - - LOOK LO­CAL - Wa­ter war­rior: Ben Pope. Pic­ture: David Baylis d483140

BEN Pope is on track to be the top-ranked kayaker in Aus­tralia. The 24-year-old is cur­rently ranked fourth in the coun­try and is hop­ing to rep­re­sent Aus­tralia in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in ca­noe slalom. Pope started kayak­ing aged 11 and im­me­di­ately fell in love with the sport. At 15 he started com­pet­ing in ca­noe slalom, where kayak­ers nav­i­gate through a course of hang­ing down­stream or up­stream gates on river rapids in the fastest time pos­si­ble. He has com­peted in the Un­der-23 World Cham­pi­onships for the past three years and is work­ing to­wards a spot at the World Cham­pi­onships in Rio in Septem­ber. Pope said the sport com­bined his pas­sion for the wa­ter and the out­doors. “I like kayak­ing be­cause I get to be on the wa­ter,” he said. “I have al­ways loved the wa­ter. I also get to be out­doors in na­ture and am able to travel. What I like about ca­noe slalom is it’s in­stinc­tive and you have to re­act with the wa­ter. “I re­ally love the sport and rep­re­sent­ing Aus­tralia is a dream and the Olympics would be the pin­na­cle.” Pope is fundrais­ing with the sup­port of the Aus­tralian Sports Foun­da­tion and needs do­na­tions to help him get to the Olympics. If you would like to spon­sor or do­nate to Pope’s goal of get­ting to the Olympics, visit https://asf.org.au/ath­letes/ben-pope/

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