Talent and Performance News February 2014

As was mentioned in last month’s E-zine, 2014 has started with the appointment of a new Talent Officer for CANI. Alex McCloy has joined the staff and his role will be to co–ordinate and develop the CANI Talent Development programme. He has a background of working with Ulster Rugby and with elite golfers. Alex hopes to develop all the squad members that are currently within each squad across the three disciplines (surf, sprint and slalom) by increasing the amount of coaching and water time and also expose each group to greater competition environments both domestically and internationally. A key aspect of the programme will be to meet each individual’s needs within their particular discipline to allow them to become the best that they can be. Another key focus will be to introduce more people into paddling and increase the participation base within each of the clubs.

Slalom coaches Matt McKnight and Andy Hadfield held a four day training camp over half term which was based at the National Water Sports Centre in Nottingham. This was a very successful trip with intensive coaching carried out on white water slalom venues. As part of the training camp, development squad members Jake Cochrane, Kirsten Eatock, Patrick Creber and Ali McCreery competed in a domestic event held by one of the local GB feeder clubs. Jake was placed 1st in the C1 men’s category in division 1 & 2 while all the other members were placed in their respective events. This was an outstanding performance for the whole squad and emphasises the merits of holding overseas training camps and extra competitions. The slalom development squad will meet again over the weekend of 15th and 16th of March.

A slalom event was held on Sunday 9th February at Shaw’s Bridge, development squad members; Zoe & Beth Thompson, Eoin Teague, Sean & Conleth McLarnon, Patrick Creber, Tiernan Gribbin, Kirsten Eatock and Jake Cochrane all won prizes on the days, special congratulations to all of them and a word of thanks to all the members of Canoeing Ireland’s slalom development squad who attended and helped organise the event.


Jake Cochrane in action during the Slalom event at Shaw’s Bridge.

The surf development squad met on 8th February at White Rocks where very constructive water based training was conducted by coach Paul Harrington. The squad hope to meet again over the weekend of the 8th and 9th of March.

During February the sprint development squad weekly ergo and strength and conditioning sessions at Ardnavalley Scout Centre have continued, the sessions have been conducted by sprint coaches Ray Sweetlove and Malcolm Kerry.

Currently Afton Fitzhenry who is a member of the CANI sprint development squad has been successful in reaching Phase 2 Phase 3 of Girls4Gold: Canoeing. She will attend a further assessment weekend in early – March. Girls4Gold is aimed at talented female athletes who are committed to a once in a lifetime opportunity to become part of Britain’s canoeing elite. This is a tremendous achievement for Afton and we all wish her well in hopefully realising her dreams of Olympic success within this programme.

All of the members of the development squads are working extremely hard and hopes are high for success throughout 2014.

In other news CANI are planning to run a single day conference style event for development squad members at the Share Centre on Sunday 23rd March as part of Paddlefest. This event will include a full day of practical workshops including strength and conditioning and indoor paddling activities and also presentations on topics including lifestyle management and sports nutrition. Etienne Stott a gold medal winner at the 2012 Olympics will also be present and we hope to conduct a Q&A session with him as part of the programme. This one day event will be FREE for development squad members to attend, however no food will be provided on the day and squad members must make their own transport arrangements to and from the venue. The sessions will run from 10:30 am to 4:30 pm although the exact times are still to be confirmed.

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