Club cleans up at national outrigging comp
INTENSE training and years of practice paid off for Club Outrigger Whitsunday who took home 12 medals in the Australian Outrigger Canoeing Sprint Nationals last weekend.
36 paddlers from the Whitsundays competed against teams from across the country for a spot at the World sprints in Hawaii this August.
With three gold medals, six silver medals and three bronze medals, club member Renee Martin said it was very likely that all of the Whitsunday paddlers had earnt a spot at the global event.
"We had 36 paddlers and every paddler received a medal," she said.
"We haven't received official confirmation yet but it's looking very likely."
More than 800 paddlers competed in the event on the Sunshine Coast over the weekend, and Ms Martin said despite being a smaller club the Whitsunday side held their own.
"In the past we may have been overshadowed by massive clubs like Mooloolaba with over 400 members," she said.
"But we have been putting in extra training and Mark Bell the coach has been putting us through a good program and it's really paid off."
The Whitsunday contingent had competitors from age 13 up to 70.
Paddler for the golden master's men's team Terry Kemp said the club's hard work and training showed against tough competition.
"It's very difficult to compete against (teams from) the south east corner because there's a lot more participation down there and a lot more memberships," he said.
"We've been training four times a week on the canoes and then on the day we're not training we're doing aerobic work.
"If you're going to do well, you've got to put in the time."
The team will officially find out whether they have made it to Hawaii by Saturday, but in the meantime it's a few days off before jumping back into a strict training regime.
Mr Kemp said while training was intense, it was a great way to stay fit for people of all ages.
"I was getting a bit older and I wanted to keep my fitness levels," he said
"We get a lot of local support because it's a safe sport and you can do it into your later years.
"Over the last year we've been getting some good results and the committee and club is strong at the moment.
"There's a positive attitude in the club and it's got quite a lot of members with both young people and older people."
The club train at Shingley beach and are always looking for new members to come down and give it a try.