Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search


Cantabrian Defies Odds To Get To World Champs


Cantabrian Danielle Currie will compete at next month’s ICF (International Canoe Federation) Junior and U23 World Championships in Szeged, Hungary as part of New Zealand’s team.

Champion Kayak Sprinter Danielle has been chosen for the U23 team that comprises fellow Cantabrian Lucy Johnson and Auckland-based athletes Kayla Imrie and Kim Thompson.

Danielle has defied the odds as her original squad of eight women dwindled to two after the 2011 Earthquake – just her and Lucy. “Training is demanding and for many, it was too hard, too dark and too cold to continue.”

Danielle says her coach Leigh Barker has played a huge part in helping her stay focussed following the Earthquake: “Leigh gave up many hours of his own time to coach us in the cold and dark and kept us going when it got tough.”

Danielle trains daily for several hours in a mostly-male squad on the Avon River in Christchurch, braving the dark, and sometimes freezing temperatures: “We just put on more layers and go out into it.”

Danielle and Lucy Johnson are the only two women in the squad, which Danielle says fires their competitive spirit: “We try to drag race the boys. In a K2, Lucy and I are almost the same speed as Para canoer Scott Martlew and if we beat him, we tell him he’s too slow!”

Danielle has set her sights on the 2020 Olympics “New Zealand Kayaking now has a lot of determined, talented athletes with the same goal, so I still need to get faster, better and stronger to get there by 2020.”

Danielle is keen to follow in the footsteps of Olympic Gold Medallist Lisa Carrington, who will compete at the open World Championships in Moscow, Russia later this year: “So far, I have followed a similar path to Lisa and now she’s the world champion which is amazing.”

Danielle credits hard work and determination for her success so far: I’ve had to work hard to get what I want as I am not as naturally talented as some.”

Danielle’s coaching and on-water support is provided by Canoe Racing New Zealand, while some off-water support comes from High Performance Sport New Zealand (HPSNZ), including via the Prime Minister’s Scholarship programme.

Danielle has been awarded a Prime Minister’s Athlete Scholarship this year. HPSNZ also provides Danielle with free access sports-health services including physio and doctors’ appointments.

Support has also come from Danielle’s employers Gerry Barrett and Lance McCarthy of Gerry’s Wraps in Christchurch. “They’ve both been so flexible and let me leave when I’ve needed to go to training or have time off. It’s pretty amazing. My friends have said how lucky I am to work for them – it’s awesome.”

This is Danielle’s third year competing at a World Championships and she is aiming high: “Our team wants to be in the top nine U23 K4 women in the world.”

New Zealand’s team leaves on Sunday for Czech Republic, where they will train and acclimatise for a month before competing at the Championships in nearby Hungary on 17-21 July.

© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Scoop Review Of Books: Worldly And Unworldly

"Being Magdalene" by Fleur Beale The situations shown in this youth novel are shocking, scary, and very moving as we experience Magdalene’s struggle to be a perfect girl as defined by the cruel and unreasonable leader of “The Children of the Faith”, as she moves reluctantly into young womanhood. More>>

Whistle Stop: Netball NZ To Implement New INF Rules

Netball New Zealand (NNZ) will implement the new Official Rules of Netball, as set down by the International Netball Federation (INF), from January 1, 2016. Key changes include the elimination of whistle following a goal, amendments to injury time and changes to setting a penalty. More>>


Scoop Review Of Books: Waiata Aroha

Vaughan Rapatahana on Chappy by Patricia Grace: With this eminently readable novel Patricia Grace returns to the full-length fiction stage after a hiatus of ten years. More>>

'Ithaca' At Q Theatre: Introducing NZ's World Class Cirque Troupe

NZ’s very own cirque troupe is set to become a household name with the premier of its adaptation of Homer’s Odyssey having secured a key season in Auckland. More>>

Music Awards: The Tuis Are Broody This Year

Topping off a sensationally eventful year both at home and internationally, Nelson born brother-sister duo Broods has taken home four Tuis from this year’s 50th annual Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards. More>>


Sport: Richie McCaw Retires From Rugby

Richie McCaw has today confirmed he is hanging up his boots and retiring from professional rugby. The 34-year-old All Blacks captain and most capped All Black of all time has drawn the curtain on his stunning international career which started in Dublin 14 years ago, almost to the day, and ended in London last month when he hoisted the Webb Ellis Cup aloft for the second time. More>>


John McBeth: On Jonah Lomu

For many New Zealanders, the enormity of Jonah Lomu's reputation will have come as a surprise... His deeds were watched and enthused over by movie stars and musicians, politicians and superstars from other codes. He reached into the lives and homes of millions and mixed with famous people most New Zealanders would only have read about. More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news