Penrith well represented at canoe polo world championships
TWO Penrith Canoe Club members played for the Great Britain under-21 ladies team at Welland, Canada.
Katie Farley, aged 17, and 20-year-old Caitlin Fox were part of an eight-player team which travelled with the full GB squad to play in the championships which are held every two years.
In addition, Bethan Dean, whose mother, Elaine Jenkins, lives in Penrith, was playing for the senior ladies team. Bethan, who now works in Edinburgh, has been a member of the senior ladies team since 2015 and has played in many championships.
The under-21 ladies were in a group of five countries, including France, Germany, Chinese Taipei and Spain. After all the group games were played, GB went through to the second round where they faced the top three teams from the other group.
After several very close games they reached the semi-finals and came up against world champion title holders Germany. They eventually lost 4-3 in a very hard fought contest in which Katie scored two of the three goals. This meant they met New Zealand in the bronze medal match.
Again, it was a very close and nail- biting game, with the scores standing at 2-2 up to 10 seconds before the end of the game. The New Zealand side then scored the winning goal to take the medal. The German U-21 ladies were the eventual winners, defeating Poland to retain their world champion title. The GB U-21 men retained their world champion status.
In the senior women’s competition, the GB team reached the final against Germany, narrowly losing a very exciting match to gain a silver medal. Bethan Dean’s mother, Elaine, and a family friend, Sue Thompson, both travelled from Penrith to watch the championships. The senior men came seventh overall.
Katie and Caitlin thanked all their supporters and particularly Penrith Canoe Club, for all their help over the last two years. Katie also said a huge thank you to Bethan Dean and Alison Brown, of Perth, with whom she has travelled to many European competitions. They are now retiring from GB squads and will be very much missed.
Next year it will be the European championships which are being held in Portugal. Katie is playing in the European club championships and the British championships in the next few weeks and Caitlin will be preparing for national league matches.
All the players are looking forward to being reunited with their boats and paddles which had to be shipped from Canada on a container ship.