Scholarship athlete returns from Junior World Championships
Thursday, August 9, 2018
Charlie Bell, a 2018 BayTrust Athlete Scholarship recipient, has returned from a valuable six week tour of Europe, which took in the Canoe Slalom Junior World Championships and two rounds of the ECA Junior Slalom Cup.
Charlie managed to place 37th in the Under 18 mens’ of the Junior World Championships in Ivrea, Italy in mid-July, and secured 10th place in race one of the under 18 mens’ ECA Junior Slalom Cup in Ausberg, Germany in late June.
The tour wasn’t without it’s challenges, though, after Charlie’s brand new C1 boat – a Vajda MM Max – was destroyed when a roof rack broke on his van and the boat was struck by a truck on the autobahn out of Venice.
“I was pretty devastated. For the next few days I couldn’t train while we desperately tried to sort out an alternative boat for me.
“In the end friends of dads from New Zealand were flying to Europe and very kindly brought over my old boat for me to use.”
Charlie also suffered a stomach bug days just before the Junior Worlds, but still managed to enter his races and take away many lessons from the experience.
“I have had such an amazing experience, and learnt so much from paddling at all these new courses with different features and challenges which means you need to learn all sorts of new techniques to read and manage them.
“The challenge of competing against such top paddlers at the Junior Worlds was amazing, and it has fired me up to keep working hard at my paddling and do my very best to be there again and have another go next year!”
As a 2018 recipient of a BayTrust Athlete Scholarhsip, Charlie also says he’s incredibly grateful for the opportunity to attend international competitions.
“With my heavy commitment to training and school it is really difficult to work part time and save money toward the cost of international competition.
“I am very grateful to the BayTrust and my other sponsors and family – without their support I would not have been able to travel and compete at the Canoe Slalom Junior World Championships in Italy this year. It was such a privilege, I got so much out of it, and I’m totally focused on getting back their next year.”
About BayTrust Athlete Scholarships
BayTrust Athlete Scholarships recognise the sporting talent found within the Bay of Plenty of our aspiring athletes and are designed to assist high achieving people towards athlete development in international competition.
Read all about the Bay of Plenty canoe slalom athletes competing on the world stage in a recent edition of our Sports Talk column.
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