Riding a wave of success

Riding a wave of success

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Elizabeth, Gabrielle and Clare O'Callaghan have their eyes set on national kayak success. Photograph - Toby Hussey.

Three Armadale girls will travel to New South Wales with Olympic futures in their sights after discovering a passion and talent for canoeing.

The O’Callaghan sisters Elizabeth (16), Clare (13) and Gabrielle (11) won medals at the Canoeing Western Australia Sprint Regatta event in Champion Lakes last February.

The sisters picked up nine medals between them.

Gabrielle won two bronzes and a silver, Clare won three bronze medals and eldest sister Elizabeth picked up two gold medals and a silver.

Gabrielle said it was fun.

“I just like the sport and I’ve been doing it for about a year, it’s fun,” she said.

Despite having only taken up the sport recently, the sisters quickly rose to the challenge of racing canoes at speed and have their eyes set on the National Kayak Championships in Penrith next March.

Clare said she was excited to go and was hopeful she could at least stand on the podium.

The girls have ambitions of selection for the Olympic Hopes team, a squad made up of the best young canoeists in Australia hoping to one day reach the Olympics.

If they are fast enough they hope it will get them into the running for the squad, which provides specialised training for juniors with Olympic potential.

Elizabeth said she was optimistic but remained realistic.

“I’d be absolutely stoked for all of us to do well,” she said.

“Even if we don’t win anything as long as we all do our best I’ll be pleased.”

The trio and their parents have had plenty of family support and they have set up a crowdfunding website to help fund their trip.

They have already raised about $3000 which will go toward the cost of travel, accommodation and kayak shipment.

To donate visit gofundme.com/nationalkayakingchamp.