TWO talented teen kayakers tackled an eight-hour endurance challenge on Saturday.
Hannah Clements, 17, of Lancing Close, Lancing and Kayleigh Parsons, 15, of Roberts Road, Lancing, successfully completed an ergoathon – taking it in turns to row on an indoor kayak machine – at the Adur Outdoor Activity Centre in aid of the Starr Trust.
We are so so proud of the girls.Mums Claire Clements and Tricia Parsons
Kayleigh said: “It was surprisingly okay although my shoulders and back really ached at the end.”
Hannah said: “The worst part was the seat was really hard and I don’t think I will sit down for a week.”
They added: “We are really thrilled to be doing something for the Starr Trust as it’s had been so supportive of us.”
The girls are the highest ranking paddlers in the South East and dream of representing Great Britain.
They learned to kayak at the Adur Outdoor Activity Centre in 2011. The following year, after seeing canoe slalom at the London Olympics, they decided that they would like to have a go.
Both started in the K1 class – sitting in the boat with one paddle with a blade on each end. They had their first season in 2013 and by the end of the year were invited to be part of the Great Britain development squad based at Lee Valley – the 2012 Olympic venue. They continued to rise through the ranks and both ended the 2014 season in division one.
At this point they needed more training and new equipment so applied to the Starr Trust – a local charity which helps young people to pursue their dreams – for a grant.
Parents Claire Clements and Tricia Parsons said: “We are so so proud of the girls, they are totally committed to the sport and to the trust, they work really hard.
“They both adore the sport and the trust has enabled them to continue at the highest level as well as giving them a huge amount of confidence. This event was the least that we could do.”
Claire added: “The sport means everything to them. They live and breathe it, travelling to London three times a week to train as well as training on the river at Shoreham and land-based training.
“Kayaking has completely changed their lives for the better.”
The girls’ effort was sponsored by Steve Hesford at Hydra Sports and has so far raised more than £800 for the trust. Donations are still being accepted at uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/hannakay6
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