Hard work pays off for paddlers

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KAYAKING allstars from Linlithgow have expressed thanks for local facilities that have helped them make waves on a national scale.

For the past four years, Linlithgow Kayak Racing members have used the town’s Xcite Pool to train for national and international events, and the list of accolades continues to grow for its five elite kayakers who are all in the Scottish Champion team.

Team members include Sean Redmond (under 16 boys) who is currently British Champion in four separate categories, and ranked fourth in the UK overall (under 18).

Sean was also recently awarded the Scottish Sports Aid Junior Sportsman of the Year award. Amy Redmond (under 14 girls) is British Champion in two categories and ranked third in the UK for her age group. Rhonwyn Smith (under 16 girls) is sixth in the UK and has two British Championship medals. Lewis Fletcher (under 18 boys) is ranked in the UK top 10 in four separate categories and the youngest team member Emma Brockway (under 12 mini kayak) is ranked in the UK top 10 in two categories.

Coach Pete Easson puts the team’s success down to hard work and dedication.

He said: “For the past four years the club has worked incredibly hard and it is now paying off.

‘‘Some of the recent achievements are absolutely superb and it could not have been achieved with out the support of West Lothian Leisure (WLL) and other partners.

‘‘West Lothian Council support our members with sport scholarships, WLL provide the great facilities, the Scottish Canoe Association and the Sportscotland Institute of Sport provide coaching and guidance.

‘‘When you combine that level of support with hard work, you get great results.”

Kerry McMaster, Xcite Linlithgow’s facility manager, said: “It is very exciting to have these young people train in Linlithgow and we are just happy to play a small, but important part, in their success.”

IN THE PICTURE: Team members and Pete Easson with staff from Xcite Linlithgow.