Paddling for gold in canoe and kayak

Two Mission paddlers are hoping to find gold at the BC Summer Games this week

Mission's Alex Brent (left) and Willow Kehler will be in the hunt for medals at the BC Summer Games.

Mission’s Alex Brent and Willow Kehler will be paddling for medals this week at the B.C. Summer Games in canoe and kayak.

Brent and Kehler train with the Ridge Canoe and Kayak club at Whonnock Lake and say their coach, Peter Majewski, has prepared them well.

Athletes train in and out of the water and have a full schedule even without the Summer Games on the horizon.

“I’m confident they will do well and have fun,” said Majewski.

Both Brent and Kehler are nervous and excited to be a part of the competition.

Kehler, who is just 12 years old, will be one of the youngest athletes competing. She has been paddling for four years, but has been in boats even before she was born. Her mom, Sherry Hunt, competed in the same sport nationally and internationally, even when she was pregnant, so it was only natural Kehler took an interest in canoe and kayaking.

Brent, 15, stumbled on the sport nine years ago when he tagged along  to camp with his brother. Brent tried it, loved it, and signed up for the camp as well.

Now, he says it’s the best thing that has happened to him. He trains with the club year round and admits he doesn’t know what to do when he’s not there.

The BC Summer Games take place July 19-22 in Surrey. For more information and to see a list of athletes competing, visit www.bcgames.org.