Joe Dunn performs an aerial loop at a World Cup event. This is just one of the many stunts performed in Freestyle.
The Australian Freestyle Kayak team is looking for the next generation of junior team members and is seeking males and females between the ages of 10 to 15 years wanting to give the sport a go.
"Freestyle Kayaking is a dynamic sport that involves surfing a wave and performing aerial maneuvers," says Australian Freestyle Coach 'Jez', the three time World Cup Champion. He also said that “Australia always does well at world competitions; however there is a lack of youngsters to take the baton and run with it".
Freestyle competition involves athletes paddling for 45 seconds, aiming to do as many tricks as possible in a wave on a river, scoring points for each trick. With moves such as loops, cartwheels and McNasties, it is a spectacular sport to watch as well as an adrenalin pumping event to compete in.
At the recent Freestyle Kayak World Cup held on the Nantahala River in North Carolina, Liam Corr from the Blue Mountains held a top twenty result in the Men’s K1, while Joe Dunne, 18 years of age also from Blue Mountains secured 7th in the Junior Class. Jez, the team’s coach as well as competitor took out 4th place in the C1 class. Considering these are the world’s best and there is a field of over 80 athletes, Australia continues to be very competitive internationally.
As Joe moves up to the men’s K1 class, this will leave Australia without junior men, in addition there are places available for junior and senior women in the Freestyle Kayak team. Places available include the Australian K1 (kayak) and C1 (canoe) classes, so there are some big gaps that we would like to fill.
Children who are good at sports, possibly have done a bit of gymnastics, who are determined to compete and enjoy the water are already in with a chance of doing well in freestyle kayaking. There is also an eight year plan to get the sport into the Olympics. Like wake-boarding, snowboarding and kite surfing there is a push to make extreme sports part of the Olympics.
The Australian Canoeing Freestyle Kayaking Technical Committee encourages children aged 8 years and older to see if they can start the journey to represent Australia. Sponsors and funding to develop freestyle kayaking in Australia is also sought in the push towards making the successful international sport part of the Olympics.
For further information contact:
Freestyle Kayak Committee firstname.lastname@example.org.