Kamloops paddlers crack national-development team
Two Kamloops Canoe and Kayak Club paddlers are one step closer to their Olympic dreams.
Brook McLean and Zach Morgan, both 16, were named this week to the CanoeKayak Canada Junior National Development Program.
“It’s like a pyramid and this is the base of the pyramid,” said Mike McLean, Brook’s grandfather, a director with the local club, which calls Shumway Lake home.
“From here, you go to training camps, then you go to trials in June and, if you succeed at trials, then you’re on the [junior national] team.”
The Canadian junior squad competes at events across the globe, including the world championships, held next August in Welland, Ont.
McLean and Morgan earned spots on the development program’s canoe team primarily through their results at the Canadian Sprint CanoeKayak Championships, held in August in Dartmouth, N.S.
A pair of silver medals, won in the midget women’s C1 200- and 1,000-metre races, highlighted McLean’s trip, while Morgan grabbed bronze in the midget men’s C1 1,000m.
“If you medal at nationals, that puts you in the elite of Canadian paddlers at that age,” the Kamloops club director said.
There are nine paddlers on both the men’s and women’s junior national development canoe teams.
Morgan and McLean are the only two from B.C.