YOUNG canoeist James Bowley will take the plunge into deeper waters when he flies out to the Czech Republic next month to represent Great Britain’s development team at the annual Olympic Hopes Regatta.
The 15-year-old Burton Phoenix Canoe Club member will be looking to follow in the footsteps of brother Matthew, who has represented GB in European and world junior championships.
And proud father David says James is excited about the challenge that awaits him and his fellow competitors over the weekend of September 14 and 15, whilst acknowledging his son is not the only one to be apprehensive.
“We’re all nervous for his first race,” said Bowley snr.
“But we’ll be supporting him as we have been doing throughout his training.
“To go into the unknown is the most nerve-racking element but when he’s racing, the nerves will be eradicated.
“He’s competed before in Belgium so the travelling will not phase him.”
Bowley is the chairman of the River Trent-based club, which formed in October 2012, and with brother Matthew having recently made his senior debut for GB, Paulet High School pupil James has high standards to live up to within his own family.
Nevertheless, his father says he is ready to compete against canoeists potentially quicker, stronger and more experienced, despite being one of the newer, younger members of the squad.
“He has been competing since he was eight years of age and he’s competed at international regattas, but this is his first selection to represent Great Britain,” said Bowley.
“James hopes to build on his success to join his brother next summer.”
James, who paddles for Burton Phoenix and Anker Valley Club, trains with the club on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, as well as undertaking extra sessions of running and cycling, having made the step up from the boys squad to the junior squad in June.
He is part of the national development squad which trains at National Water Sports Centre in Nottingham, and is spending his school holidays at training camps in Nottingham and on the London Docklands.