EASTBROOK SCHOOL IN RUTHLESS CANOE CHALLENGE

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 EASTBROOK SCHOOL IN RUTHLESS CANOE CHALLENGE
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by Glenn Anderson from Dagenham GBR on 06 Mar 2012
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Tomas Valatka and Gintaras Kaminskas took part in their 2nd build up race (Waterside B) for Eastbrook Comprehensive School in their preparation for the Devizes to Westminster. They paddled 17 ½ miles from Newbury to Aldermaston and Back and had to undertake a total of 19 portages, each one proving to be very competitive with no compassion for other paddlers shown.
Tomas and Gintaras, who are experienced in kayaking but have never faced such challenges, received a real taste of what is to come. At their first portage the boys had successfully made it to the bank and out of their boat in an exceptionally quick time. To the boys total surprise a competitive crew wanted the advantage, in doing so showed no compassion, brining their kayak alongside and climbed out of the top of them. Both boys stood there in total amazement, not sure how they could get their kayak out of the water to continue the race and had no choice but to wait for their competitors to complete the portage.
Tomas and Gintaras completed the 17 ½ miles finishing in 9th place out 47 paddlers in a time of 2hrs 49 minutes, which is a fantastic achievement for both students who are only 15 years old and only kayaked for two years. The boys were competing against paddlers from the top clubs and schools in the country. They were beaten by two school crews one from Kim Bolton School and one from Byanston School. Tomas and Gintaras managed to beat other crews from both schools along with Malborough College, Churcher’s College, Millfield School, Lord Wandsworth School, Langley School and Cranleigh School.
A big thank you goes to Barking & Dagenham Canoe club for their continued support in training the students, providing them with the necessary equipment to compete in the race, along with the support they are providing to Eastbrook School staff in training them as support crew.
On Thursday the 1st March 2012 Eastbrook Comprehensive School students and staff participated in a bag packing night at Morrisons in Dagenham. This was to raise funds to assist Tomas and Gintaras with their Devizes to Westminster journey. This event was well supported by members of staff at Morrisons along with fantastic support from the local community. A total of £300 was raised and we would like to thank Morrisons for allowing us to participate in this event, along with all who donated money for such a good cause.

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