CHAMPION Lakes Boating Club will see three of its members compete in the National Championships in Sydney from March 5 to 9.
Jared Leach (17) and Sam McTigue (24) will compete in the canoe sprint after qualifying in the State Championships held at Champion Lakes on January 21-22.
Leon Mussell, who hopes to win a place in his home Cook Islands team for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, will compete in the C1 craft event.
The club has just purchased a kayak ergo from Hungary. This is a state-of-the-art machine used by European teams and can measure independent input from athletes’ arms and help correct technique.
CLBC kayaking co-ordinator Robyn Brown said the club paid for the kayak through fundraising and a generous donation from the Leach family. “We also won an Elite Pathways award from Australian Canoeing for our junior program,” Mrs Brown said.
At the State Sprint Championships, the 16 competitors from Champion Lakes hauled 44 medals.
Mrs Brown said although kayaking was a high-profile recreational sport in Australia, the European teams dominated the Olympics.
But she said many of the big guns in the sport had retired, which would open the sport up for the next generation.
“We have a Hungarian husband and wife team (Agnes Pajor and Atti Kaplan) who will hopefully give us a winning edge so we can get more of these kids up to the next level.”