Champion hopes for ‘fun’ race

Jenni Bateman will trade her kayak for a ski in this year’s Avon Descent.
Jenni Bateman will trade her kayak for a ski in this year’s Avon Descent.

But for this race she will trade her kayak for a ski.

‘I have won the overall women’s race twice and won my class all but once,’ she said,

‘I’m not sure how I’m going to go this year as my focus has been more on coaching and work, though I’m hoping for a really fun race.

‘All indications so far are that we should have some decent water levels, so I’m really excited about that.’

Ms Bateman trains and coaches as the club at Garvey Park on the Swan River in Redcliffe.

‘I really enjoy the Avon Descent due to both the fun of paddling in the white water and the friendships which are developed, and the social nature of the training and racing. Even during the race most competitors will have a good chat as they go down the river.

‘We never train alone when on the Avon River due to safety issues, and there is a really strong community with paddlers contacting each other through the kayak clubs and Facebook to get groups together.’

The City of Belmont will further encourage this sense of community next Sunday at Garvey Park in Ascot with a free family fun day from 11.30am to 3.30pm.

Families can cheer competitors as they head towards the finish line of the 133km race. There will also be live race commentary, helicopter rides, a junior sports expo, free children’s activities and those with opportunity cards can get free food and beverage offers.