Kayak and canoe athletes prep in Langley for Canada Summer Games

The young paddlers had a final training camp before heading to Winnipeg.

Young British Columbia paddlers gathered in Fort Langley Thursday for a last training camp before they take on their counterparts from across the nation at the Canada Summer Games.

The group of competitors and alternates were put through their paces on the Bedford Channel by coach Blake Dalton of Canoe Kayak B.C.

From just under 14 to 20 years old, the paddlers taking part Thursday were from the B.C. Men’s Canoe Team and the B.C. Woman’s Kayak Team.

After Thursday, the youth athletes headed to Winnipeg for the Summer Games.

They were excited about the prospect, though paddler Ydris Hunter joked that he was “driven by fear” of the upcoming competition.

Some were looking forward to racing for Team B.C., while others mentioned the open buffet for athletes. “Free food!”

For Langley’s Meghan Cheung, it will be a chance to take part in an event that isn’t just about paddling and rowing.

“There’s a different experience, because there’s so many different sports,” she said. They’ll be taking pride in a bigger team from their home province, she added.

The youngsters trained hard, heading out past McMillan Island downstream, then fighting their way back against the current.

The goal is to excel and also enjoy being out on the water and competing, said Dalton.

“It requires a lot of determination and sacrifice, so if it’s not fun, they’re not going to do it,” Dalton said.

The contingent training Thursday included:

Men’s Canoe Team

Ydris Hunter – Vancouver – False Creek Sprint Canoe Club

Quinn Phare – Pemberton – Pemberton Canoe Association

Omar Said – Maple Ridge – Ridge Canoe and Kayak Club

Noah Said – Maple Ridge – Ridge Canoe and Kayak Club

Alex Demishkevich – Kamloops – Kamloops Canoe and Kayak Club

Quinn Thomson – Langley – False Creek Sprint Canoe Club

Liam Stewart – Langley – Fort Canoe and Kayak Club

Women’s Kayak Team

Elisa Robson-Brown – Vancouver – False Creek Sprint Canoe Club

Cassidy MacPherson – Maple Ridge – Ridge Canoe and Kayak Club

Meghan Cheung – Langley – Fort Canoe and Kayak Club

Katrina Loutet – Burnaby – Burnaby Canoe and Kayak Club

Jia Kim – Maple Ridge – Ridge Canoe and Kayak Club.