Cook Islands Slalom Athlete selected for International Talent Programme
Eighteen year old, Cook Island representative paddler, Ella Nicholas, has just been invited to join the ICF (International Canoe Federation) Canoe Slalom Talent ID Programme. The ICF have said they will support the most talented young athlete’s from developing National Federations with training camps and entry into main canoeing events as a build up to the Olympics in 2012.
Ella’s first camp starts on 26th August and will be in preparation for the Canoe Slalom World Championships in Seu d’Urgell, Spain, which was the venue for canoe slalom at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics..
Ella, who has won the top U18 ranking trophy twice in NZ, made the switch to paddle for the Cook Islands two years ago and has since competed in Australia, Brazil and Europe. Narrowly missing out on a spot at the Beijing Olympics, she was pretty happy with her 5th place at the Australian Youth Olympic Festival in January this year.
"I know that the jump to senior level is not easy, especially in Dunedin while studying, but this opportunity is about the future and is a step towards my goal of competing for the Cook Islands at the Olympics" says a determined Ella.
It will take Ella nearly 40 hours to fly to Spain from Dunedin in NZ, where she is a first year Health Science student. Ella’s ambition is to study medicine and follow in the footsteps of her father, Robert Nicholas and brother Bryden, also a representative paddler.
Ella would also like to acknowledge the support of CISNOC and Olympic Solidarity in helping her get to Spain. Cook Islands Sports and National Olympic Committee would like to also acknowledge the support of Cook Islands News.