TWO girls from Lancing have been invited on to the super regional GB slaloming squad, after only taking up the sport two years ago.
Hannah Clements, aged 16, and Kayleigh Parsons, 14, started kayaking three years ago at Adur Outdoor Activity Centre, under the guidance of Stewart Lindfield.
However, when the duo saw canoe slalom at the London 2012 Olympics, they decided they wanted to give it a go.
Canoe slalom is where a course is set down a stretch of white water and the paddler has to negotiate several gates in the fastest time.
There are three classes – K1 involves sitting with a blade at both ends; C1 is kneeling with one paddle and C2 is two people both kneeling with one paddle each.
There are five divisions – from Premier to Division 4 – and the girls have quickly risen through the ranks.
Hannah gained promotion to Division 2 last June and Kayleigh achieved the same shortly afterwards in K1. They were both asked to train with the GB development squad last year, which was when Hannah started to compete in C1. By the end of the season, Kayleigh was top of Division 2 in K1 and Hannah was top of Division 2 in C1.
The duo were chosen to be part of the regional talent academy, based at Olympic facility Lee Valley, in November, before they had more success in March. The duo were both promoted into Division 1 to become the highest-ranked paddlers in the south east and in the top three for the whole of the south. Hannah improved on that when she won promotion to Division 1/Premier Division earlier this month.
They have now been invited on to the super regional GB squad, which only 15 paddlers are on, and they were among 20 of the country’s best young paddlers to take part in profiling in Nottingham.
The girls, who attend Davison High School, have also represented the south, where they finished third with the team at the Inter-Regional Championship.