Our Next Generation

Our first juniors to jump into a canoe was back in the late part of 1991 when our daughter Meagan and Lee Koza would go down on Sunday mornings with the old fellas and sit in front of number five either for encouragement or ballast.

Our juniors have grown from an all boys team that was put together back in 1992. Their first regatta was a Panamuna, Clayton Smith, Lee Koza, Damien Edwards, Peter Marshall, Brent Goldsmith and Tony Bygraves competed and won. (Stan Rogerson was also one of the first members in this team). McDonalds at Alexandra Headlands sponsored the regatta, much to the delight of the boy's. The prize consisted of vouchers from McDonalds and the first trophy that the club ever received. They also became celebrities with their photos in the local paper. All of this gave them the encouragement to continue, (Or should I say "big egos")!

When they next rocked up to a regatta they were told that they were disqualified after the race because Panamuna decided to change rules, as they (Panamuna) were not winning, wonder where we have all heard that tune before...Hamilton Island 2001 Master Women's 1000 metre sprint final comes to mind immediately. Things never seem to change.

Next we formed an all girls team, Ezza, Kezza, Tracy Birt, Rebekah Rogerson, Cheryl Peaker and Meagan Smith steering. I look back on those times with a lot of memories when we would take our then junior teams down to the Gold Coast or even the Sunshine Coast.

We never knew from one regatta to the next what the ruling was going to be, either all boys, all girls half and half it was just one of those rules that was made up as we went along.

Did you realise that the two Juniors that first started paddling way back in 1991 with the ‘master baters' are still paddling to this day. Meagan is now paddling with Hamilton Island and Lee for Fraser Coast. For me to sit back and watch the Junior's grow so strong within the club over the years and achieve so much, has been done with admiration for the dedicated few who can see a vision for this club within the Junior ranks. Carrying on the high standards that we now achieve. Congratulations to all of you.

Wendy Smith