National Team: Olympic / Senior & U23
Hometown: Gold Coast, Queensland
Club: Currumbin Creek
How did you get involved in paddling? I always loved the water and sport. When my brother and sister wanted to learn to paddle, I wasn’t satisfied sitting by and watching them have all the fun. I would have been about 10 years old when I started playing around in a Kayak. I begged Dennis (Green) for at least a month before he relented and agreed to let me give it a try.
I’m not sure if it was my fear of falling in and getting bitten by a shark or my fierce competitiveness with my brother and sister that saw me take off and never look back.
I enjoyed just having a bit of a play in the kayak around surf lifesaving racing and training until I was 15 when I was encouraged by Jonny Newton to race at Nationals. It was the 2015 Nationals where I made my first Australian Team (Olympic Hopes). I was hooked from there on in.
Tell us about your family, e.g. does any of your family paddle as well? I grew up in a single parent family with my mum being the sole provider. I am the youngest of 3 children. My whole family are sporty. Mum in her younger days was a swimmer, Surf Lifesaver and triathlete, my brother (Lachy) and sister (Britt) along with myself represented Australia at the World Outrigging Championships in Canada back in 2012. We have all been heavily involved in Surf Lifesaving from Nippers through to Seniors. Sport was mum’s way of being able to provide us with positive male role models as we grew up.
What has been your biggest challenge, adversity you have been faced with? Growing up in a single parent family was tough and provided adversity in so many aspects of life. Finances were always so tight and there were many very hard decisions that had to be made. I think mum was the person who had to make the most sacrifices and overcome the most adversity to give us kids the opportunities in sport and life that we have had. The positive side of this is the lessons and the tenacity it has taught us. We are strong and resilient because of these experiences.
As far as personal adversity is concerned, back in 2017 I was competing in the Australian Surf Lifesavings U18 Surf Ski Championship when I lost sight of the turning cans. I became disoriented and after sighting a set cans I put my head down and bum up. I couldn’t believe that my competitors weren’t right beside me, I thought I was killing it. Unbeknown to me at the time, I had gone to the wrong set of cans. My competitors were rounding the correct set of cans. When I realised this, I was more than 150m away in the opposite direction. It was at this point that I decided I was not going to give up without one hell of a fight. I paddled like I’ve never paddled before. I caught the main pack as it headed for the beach. To my surprise, and the surprise of everyone watching on the beach, I was in the main pack as we crossed the line. I was given the win after a photo finish. I realised after it all sunk in that anything is possible.
Who has been the most influential person (coach, partner, family, teacher etc) ? There have been so many people in my life that have contributed to my success and the person I have become. I simply can’t single this down to one person.
What is the highest / best moment of your sporting career? Backing up my 2019 National 500m and 1000m K1 tittles in 2020 and being selected on my first Australian Olympic Team.
What’s your favourite / most memorable sporting moment? Watching Alistair Brownlee carry his brother Jonny across the finish line of the 2016 World Championships after he went down with heat exhaustion 500m before the finish.
4th (K1 500) ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships (Szeged, HUN)
10th (K4 500) ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships (Szeged, HUN)
1st (K1 1000) ICF U23 Canoe Sprint World Championships (Pitesti, ROM)
1st (K4 500) ICF U23 Canoe Sprint World Championships (Pitesti, ROM)
10th (K1 1000) ICF Canoe Sprint World Cup 2 (Duisburg, GER)
11th (K4 500) ICF Canoe Sprint World Cup 2 (Duisburg, GER)
7th (K1 1000) ICF Canoe Sprint World Cup 1 (Poznan, POL)
12th (K4 500) ICF Canoe Sprint World Cup 1 (Poznan, POL)
4th (K4 500) – ICF World Championships (Montemor, POR)
8th (K1 500) – ICF World Championships (Montemor, POR)
1st (K2 1000) – ICF U23 World Championships (Plovdiv, BUL)
12th (K4 500) – ICF World Cup 1 (Szeged, HUN)
10th (K4 500) – ICF World Cup 2 (Duisburg, GER)
10th (K2 1000) – ICF World Cup 2 (Duisburg, GER)
14th (K4 500) – ICF Junior World Championships (Pitesti, ROU)
2nd (K1 500) – Olympic Hopes Regatta (Bydgoszcz, POL)
3rd (K1 1000) – Olympic Hopes Regatta (Bydgoszcz, POL)