Hi, I am Jake and I have been selected for the New Zealand U18 sprint canoe team to attend the 2017 ICF Canoe Sprint Junior and U23 World Championships in Pitesti, Romania
I am 18 years old and am in my first year at University where I am studying an Economics degree. I train 6 days a week morning and night in Sprint Kayaking and I am a volunteer Surf Life Guard for Sumner Surf Life Saving Club.
I had a rough start to life and spent most of my early years receiving help to develop upper-body strength and coordination and to help with low muscle tone. This was due to my premature birth. I was never picked for sports teams so became determined to work hard and give 100% to whatever I set my mind to so I could achieve.
Sprint Canoe is my main sport, however I compete nationally also in Surf Life Saving where I have received national medals. It was through Surf Life Saving that I got involved in Sprint Canoe. I had attended the local Kayak club to learn how to paddle for using the Ski in Surf Life Saving. I spent most of the first 3 months learning how to balance in the Canoe and seemed to spend more time in the water than in the Canoe.
I don’t have a lot of spare time due to my training and studying but I do manage to work a part time job cleaning at a bakery a few hours a week.
My parents both work full time and do their best to support me with my sport. I have 6-7 camps a year in the North Island at Lake Karapiro and receive little funding to attend these camps from Canoe Racing NZ. Most camps cost between $300 -$450.00. My parents are finding the better I am getting the more expensive it is becoming. Last year the costs were around $20,000.00 to support me in my sport. This did not include any of my equipment. My father works as much over time as he can to get the funds needed, however each year it is getting harder to get the money needed to support me.
Thank you for your consideration toward supporting me in my journey.