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Borough youngsters make a splash

PUBLISHED: 17:00 10 June 2015

Barking & Dagenham won silver in the London Youth Games kayak sprint competition at the London Regatta Centre (pic: LYG)

Barking & Dagenham won silver in the London Youth Games kayak sprint competition at the London Regatta Centre (pic: LYG)

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Kayak team win silver

Barking & Dagenham youngsters battled to a brilliant team silver at the Thames Water London Youth Games Regatta on Saturday.

The kayak sprint squad overcame choppy waters in London’s Docklands to mount the podium after some solid individual performances, as Richmond won gold and Hounslow and Kensington & Chelsea shared bronze.

Delighted team manager John Green said: “Our kids have done absolutely terrific. We get them here and we do everything for our kids.

“We’ll go for it again next year. Every year we have come here and achieved something every time. This time it’s a second again, but we don’t mind keep on coming back, we love our kids having a go. We pull together and we get kids here.”

Atos Kaminskas and Morgan Laing competed in the junior lightning events for Barking & Dagenham, while Caitlin Field-O’Hanlon took part in the junior K1.

Matthew Richards-Ross and Olivia Chamberlain were in action in the senior K1, while Ben Vialls also represented the borough.

Green added: “All of them made it through to their finals, which was lovely.

“It puts them in the spotlight and shows their ability. Not a lot of boroughs do canoeing properly. Richmond do, but we’re the poorer part of it!

“We do sessions at Mayesbrook Park on Wednesdays and Saturdays and pick those up who want to join.

“We take them racing and do slalom and build up their ability and confidence on the water, then take them to the River Roding for race training.

“It’s good fun and we try to get them to do the London Youth Games. We’ve got a good reputation in it and we’re building back up again.”

Green became interested in the sport while his own children were young and is more than happy to help out at the Barking & Dagenham Canoe Club.

He added: “My kids were brought up on it during their summer holidays. I started racing in open canoes and then got into the coaching side of it.

“Bob Porter started it all off and would go up to Nottingham (National Water Sports Centre) in a council mini-bus!”

n A record 126,897 young Londoners took part in the record-breaking 2014 Balfour Beatty London Youth Games, taking the event to over one million participants since it first launched in 1977.

Borough teams will be back in action in a variety of events at Redbridge Sport & Leisure Centre this weekend.

Badminton, hockey, squad, table tennis and tennis qualifiers are all taking place, along with fencing finals.

The Para athletics finals are being held at Lee Valley next Wednesday (June 17).


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