In 1998 Neil Canning who was then coaching coordinator approached me and asked if I was interested in coaching a junior team of paddlers. I was a little bit sceptical at first as it was only my second season paddling I took on the position of coaching his team.

The kids had a lot of fun and spent more time in the water swimming than training and much to Neil's disgust their favourite past time was capsizing the canoes.

Our first regatta that season was at Currumbin and I decided I would take the team down myself in my old van for the weekend. We headed off at 5am on the Saturday morning and the kids were to race at 11am. At that stage I didn't know how to get to Currumbin but had plenty of help from a van full of know it all teenagers. I didn't expect much from the juniors as we hadn't trained much so I promised I would shout them McDonalds if they won a medal. They did, it was silver and it cost me, great appetites they had.

We all stayed in some flash resort and everybody thought I was crazy with a room full of kids, they outstayed me that night when I woke in the morning they were all asleep on the floor in front of the TV. All beds were still made they never made it to bed.

The older they got I think the less they listen sometimes. I would always tell them not to eat before a race wait until after as one young ginger haired bloke found out the reason behind it the hard way. I asked Rob Andrews to give this young bloke a lift to Noosa one Saturday morning and they happened to stop at Matilda on the way. A bucket of chips, hamburger and coke went down well, as he arrived just in time to jump in the canoe for his race he started to feel sick and continued to vomit through out the entire race all over the canoe, covers and the person behind him. (Good one Justin) they lost badly but were glad just to get out of the canoe.

The juniors have been a lot of fun over the last few years not forgetting the baby's of the club the under 12's always willing not as much back chat sometimes a pleasure. These little ones have been our strength all the way through, a lot of these paddlers have made it to u/16's now and have had some great experiences over the years.

A few memorable moments that will stay with me forever are probably the juniors winning their National Title Club Trophy in 2000 and again in 2001.

In 2000 zone championships I wanted us to take out OC1 champion club so bad that I put every junior paddler on an OC1, it worked, we won and the kids loved it.

The greatest experience was to attend world sprints in Townsville last year it was a very memorable occasion and something the juniors will never forget.

It took a lot of preparation to get there and a wild time was had by all, not to mention a sprained wrist in the play ground they were suppose to be in the day before finals. (Good one guys)

I'm not going to mention the bare backsides at the back window of the bus before we made Gin Gin and that bloody music and commentary. (Josh Hall should never be given a microphone in Townsville again) Next time I'm only taking a female crew away, it might be peaceful but it probably wouldn't be as much fun.

Our juniors have been great over the past 4 years and I'm a better person for the experience I've had. Thanks guy's it's been fun.

David Polglase