The Junior Men’s team for the event in Bosnia and Herzegovina consists of 4 of the original 6-man team from WRC 2019, Liam, Justin, Cooper & Jacob – the AUS CROCS!
The team originally came together in September of 2017 after they heard that Australia would be the host of the World Rafting Championship 2019 in Tully. Cooper and some of his mates were keen to see what the training consisted of and quickly found that the river was a great place to be. Over the next couple of years training became a constant in their lives, training between four and five times a week on the local rivers only 10 minutes from home.
The boys were always keen and eager to test their skills, and looking for ways to improve and most importantly to have fun and enjoy the journey. Coaches Mark and Nicola say “It’s always been a pleasure to work with them as they have the best attitudes, have incredible commitment and a real team focus!”
The World Rafting Championships in Tully was the first time this team had competed at this level and were nervous and excited. They were keen to know if the past two years of training had given them the fitness and skills needed. By the end of the competition all their questions had been answered as they won the title in Australia for the U19 Men’s Division.
In the same year the young team (16yr old boys) were invited to China, only seven weeks after the WRC in Tully and asked if they would like to compete with the Open Men’s Teams. The boys were so excited. They already knew the quality and standard of the teams that would be going as they had seen them in Tully. They felt so privileged to even be asked to attend an event with teams at this level and grateful for the experience.
Their conclusion was that China was an interesting place to visit and great to be amongst some of the best teams in the World … that was a true highlight. They loved the scenery, didn’t enjoy the food so much. But the experience was amazing and the team learnt so much from participating at that level of racing.
Sadly, due to Covid their competition time abruptly ended and so did their training schedule. Some of the boys had made commitments with work, as they had just completed Yr 12 at school and due to the pandemic, nobody knew what the future really looked like.
AND THEN ……. WRC in BiH was announced and a new journey began. Everything was organised and decided in one night and the next day training resumed on the river. Again, the commitment and dedication of this team is outstanding.
As coach/manager, Nicola says, “I always commend the team’s commitment, as all the boys have apprenticeships or jobs and always manage to dedicate time to training. Liam – apprentice electrician, Cooper – apprentice mechanic, Jacob – apprentice carpenter, Justin – full-time employee for Raging Thunder Adventures. Even if, for some, it has meant a start at 4am gym training.”
The team has taken a keen interest in the history, culture and food in BiH and are looking forward to seeing the castle, the thermal springs and the beauty of the clear water of the rivers. They are not so sure about the cold water though!! Coming from the warmth of the tropics they’re likely to feel the cold! They also hope to have enough time to see the coast and the beauty of the ocean and create lasting friendships with other athletes, team members and the local BiH communities.
They express their huge gratitude to their sponsors, family and friends who have made this trip possible for their team. They honestly know that without that support they would not be going to WRC 2022.
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Raging Thunder Adventures, Breakthrough Demolitions Cairns, Sharkskin, Mike Ball Dive Expeditions
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