Tom Goldsmith is the latest youngster from Central Otago Whitewater, the region’s kayaking club, to be chosen to represent New Zealand.
The 16-year-old Dunstan High School pupil will join the New Zealand U-18 canoe slalom team competing in Ivrea, Italy, in July, joining older club member Nick Collier (18) of Alexandra, who will compete in the U-23s.
Fellow Alexandra paddler Finn Butcher, who at 27 has aged out of the juniors and U-23 World Championships, will not attend but is training for the Paris Olympic Games in 2024.
Tom said he was looking forward to going to Italy.
‘‘I’m very excited for the culture, very excited for the racing and meeting all the other kids from around the world.’’
Tom said he had been kayaking for about four years and looked up to Butcher and Collier.
‘‘It’s definitely very helpful having someone from Alexandra that’s up on that really top stage to look up to — it really shows what’s possible.’’
All three kayakers credited the older members of the club with being role models in more than just racing.
Butcher said the family atmosphere of the club, that included multi›day trips into river gorges, raised people that saw sport as a lifestyle.
He said the junior programme focused on creating well›rounded young individuals rather than ‘‘the world number one’’.