Four Cheema athletes named to Team Canada for upcoming meets

(Submitted photo)

WAVERLEY: Four athletes from Cheema have been named to the Canadian team that will compete in the Czech Republic at the ICF Sprint World Cup, scheduled for May 20-22.

Sloan MacKenzie of Windsor Junction; Michelle Russell of Fall River; Craig Spence of Dartmouth; and Riley Melanson were named following National Team Trials, held May 2-5 on Lake Banook in Dartmouth.

All four train out of and are proud members of Waverley-based Cheema.

More than 100 sprint paddlers from across Canada competed in the first set of National Team Trials last week.

Lake Banook also serves as a home base for three Atlantic Division Canoe Kayak Clubs – Banook Canoe Club, Mic Mac Amateur Aquatic Club and Senobe Aquatic Club.

The trials, hosted by the Atlantic Division of Canoe Kayak Canada (ADCKC), served as a selection regatta for the ICF Sprint World Cup Racice, ICF Canoe Sprint World Cup and Para World Cup Poznan events being held later this month.

“Team Trials on Lake Banook were a fantastic way to kick of our competitive Sprint Racing season with races on the course which will host the World in August,” said Chief Technical Officer, Ian Mortimer, in a release.

“As we begin the push to Paris it was very promising to see strong paddling from new and veteran senior athletes within our team.”

Eight Olympic and Paralympic paddlers from Tokyo were selected to the team, including 2020 Olympic bronze medallist Katie Vincent.

“It was really nice to start off the season last week on Lake Banook,” said Vincent. “Though it was a lot colder than Tokyo, there was a lot of world-class paddling coming from our team.

“It was an excellent start to our road to Paris and I am looking forward to the World Championships coming to Dartmouth this August.

“It’s going to be incredible to have the support of our local paddling community cheering for us this summer on Canadian waters. I get chills just thinking about it.”

The ICF Canoe Sprint World Cup circuit begins on May 20-22 in Racice, Czech Republic followed by ICF Para Canoe and Canoe Sprint World Cup in Poznan, Poland from May 26-29.