Hard work, determination and a natural competitive spirit has assisted local champion kayaker Brea Roadley with another call up on the Australian team for the upcoming 2017 ICF World Canoe Marathon Championships to be held in South Africa early this September.
But if that wasn’t enough the long-standing Yarrawonga Mulwala Canoe Club member will also be flying the Australian flag in the World Surfski Classic in Mauritius in late June.
It will be the second time Brea has made the Australian team for the World Canoe Marathon Championships but it will be the first time she tackles ocean kayaking at the highest level.
Remarkably Brea only took up ocean paddling after gaining a free entry into an adventure race for winning a relay race at the local Murray Quad event last year. But her years of paddling on the Murray River and Lake Mulwala have made the conversion to surfski a smooth transition.
“It’s all new to me but I am enjoying it. I am completely stoked about it. I hear the conditions in Mauritius are really big and really rough. We get there a week early so I can get used to the conditions,” Brea said.
Now living and studying in Melbourne Brea has the added advantage of training with Peak Adventure out of Sandridge Life Saving Club in Port Melbourne. She also trains at Torquay to familiarise herself in more rough conditions.
“The surfski is a breath of fresh air. It feels like an achievement each time I get through the varying conditions in a much bigger boat,” She said.
But it hasn’t been all smooth ‘paddling’ for Brea. She still suffers from the side effects of glandular fever that she contracted in December and had to battle through an interrupted training regime to get to the Australian Championships in Sydney.
But the bad luck didn’t stop there for Brea. Pairing up with Montannah Murray from Cronulla’s Sutherland Kayaking Club the girls showed great determination to finish in second place, over-coming challenging circumstances with their double kayak being damaged by an unavoidable obstacle on the course.
The incident virtually sunk their kayak, slowing them down dramatically and they eventually finished outside the automatic Australian team selection time.
Unfortunately the selection committee would not take the incident into consideration and they were not selected for the team. But after two months of appealing with the governing body the girls were eventually selected.
Brea said it was a difficult process but they knew the selection committee would eventually see their side of the story.
“We had a lot of support from everyone. Without this support it would have been hard to keep going and keep training. It was overwhelming. It’s now bittersweet and we are focused more than ever,” Brea said.
Despite living in separate states the girls will be working hard making the commitment to travel so they can train and compete in events in the lead up to representing Australia in the Open Female K2 event in early September.
Yarrawonga Mulwala Canoe Club President Jared Loughnan said Brea’s progress in the sport has been fantastic for her and for the small club.
“Brea’s determination to perform at the best of her ability no matter what circumstance confronts her is inspirational and our club is fortunate to have such a great role model.
“This is one of the main reasons the club has been successful in attracting many local junior females to the sport,” Jared said.
But to get to South Africa and Mauritius, Brea needs your support. Brea and Montannah are responsible for their own accommodation, travel, nutrition, purchase of Australian team uniform and transport of equipment. So to help the girls, the Yarrawonga Mulwala Amateur Canoe Club is looking for your support.
There are number of ways organisations, businesses and individuals can assist in supporting Brea. If you are interested please contact Tim Roadley on 0417 373 376 or [email protected] or Jared Loughnan on 0419 336 884.