As in most years for the past decade the paddling world has converged on Australia for warm weather training and a start to the racing season.
For me this means an opportunity to paddle with the best slalom paddlers in the sport and not only test my skills but also learn some new things that keep the sport fresh. This has really been the secret to longevity in our sport, the willingness to learn and expand as both an athlete and as a person. In my 26 years on the Nationals team I have seen my sport go from a non-Olympic event (we were pulled from the Games after 1972) to a once again full fledged member of the Olympic program. In that time the sport has evolved and grown and I have had to grow with it.
To be competitive in any sport today you need support, flights, rental cars, equipment and site access fees not to mention the thousands of calories you need to consume every week really add up. I was reminded today how important the CAN FUND is to my efforts when I was surprised to learn that I had to pay the entry fee for the first major international competition of the year myself. A small thing on the face of it but without this crucial support not only would I not be able to be here to train, I wouldn’t even be able to race for my country.