Ready to paddle for Australia are talented teenagers Marc Emmert, Connor Groves and Lachlan Hite, who plan to be a part of the World Outrigging Sprint Championship at Noumea.
Ready to paddle for Australia are talented teenagers Marc Emmert, Connor Groves and Lachlan Hite, who plan to be a part of the World Outrigging Sprint Championship at Noumea. File

Outrigger trio sets sights high

THERE is plenty of tough competition in the sport of outrigging, but three Rockhampton lads, Lachlan Hite, Marc Emmert and Connor Groves, are aiming for the top.

Fitness trainer Pat Boucher said the three youngsters travelled to Kawana Lake on the Sunshine Coast at the weekend and made a big impression.

Boucher was confident the three would do well and they did not let him down.

“We knew they would go really well, they are keen and strong,” Boucher said.

“They will go all the way without a doubt.”

In this case “all the way” is to Noumea in May for the CONEA 14th World Sprint Championships as members of the Australian team in their various age-groups.

The World Sprint Championships attract teams from Europe, Asia, North and South America as well as the Pacific Island countries.

At Kawana Lake the trio competed in time trials and was successful in making the first step towards selection when named in the Australian Worlds Development squad.

Boucher and skills coach for Rockhampton Junior Outriggers Canoe Club, Mick Barsby, believe the three can successfully see off challenges and cement their position for the championship.

It has been a good year for the club, gaining success at each meeting and returning with medals. Adding to their workload the trio has paddled with the club’s senior teams.

Remarkably, Emmert, who is aiming for selection in the national under-16 squad, has been training for just 12 months. Hite and Groves have a little more experience and they will be battling for positions in the under-19s to compete, like Emmert, in singles, sixes and twelves.

Boucher said their challenges would come in January when they attended a National Development camp at the Gold Coast. There they would train with other squad members and the squad’s coaching staff.

Final selection will be announced on February 14, but Boucher is confident the three have already done enough to start preparing documentation for an overseas trip in May.

While Hite, Emmert and Groves will be focusing on their sporting preparations, Boucher is aware that further work has to be done to raise the finances to cover, travel, accommodation and even team uniforms.

He said businesses in the community would be approached to ensure the three young athletes could follow their dream.



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