Two of our canoe club’s top young paddlers did themselves proud as they raced on the white water of the fierce Wagon Lane slalom near Bradford.
First year pupil Alex Curwen and third year David Paterson both performed brilliantly in the canoe slalom event – an Olympic sport where paddlers take to the water to negotiate 18 gates against the clock.
It was only a second ever competitive outing for Alex, while David – younger brother of Old Stopfordian and premier division paddler Alastair Paterson (OS 2013) – also found the time to help behind-the-scenes to organise the event.
Both boys receive expert guidance at our canoe club from Junior School teacher Mr Johnson, a former flat water professional who retired from the sport in 2004. He has experience of competing in world championships, world cups and European championships, has commentated on the sport at the London 2012 and the 2004 Athens Olympics for Eurosport, and was full of praise for both our competitors:
Alex placed well inside the top half of the paddlers and is certainly destined to move up through the divisions. He certainly has time as many of his competitors were twice his age!
David stormed down the course just behind some of the best young paddlers in the north of England.