Reynolds paddling for a PB

Shannon Reynolds won today's U18 K1 500 final
Claudia Rhodes-White (AOC), Monday, 14 January 2013

West Australian, Shannon Reynolds has been selected to compete as part of the Australian canoe/kayak sprint team at the Australian Youth Olympics Festival (AYOF) to be held in Sydney from January 16-20.

Aged 13, Reynolds was selected by a talent scout during school testing, and later joined the National Talent Identification and Development program due to her positive results.

Now, 17, Reynolds will join the other seven Australian girls competing against six other nations in the race to be the best in the world.

Reynolds says she is really looking forward to the AYOF in January, and testing her abilities against the other nations.

“I’m extremely nervous but mostly excited about where I am, especially because Germany’s going and they are a big kayaking nation,” she said. “So it’ll be good to see where I am against them.”

Having recently claimed the top ranking female at the selection event – Australian Canoeing GP1 –Reynolds is hoping to gain a position in the top four in the upcoming AYOF.

“I just really want to get up there and hopefully break the 2-minute barrier and get a PB.”

Reynolds just finished year 12 and has spent the last year finding a balance between her busy training schedule and her demanding studies.

“It was hard at first but my coach and everyone down at WAIS [Western Australia Institute of Sport] were very helpful in trying to find what would work for me.”

Her exam results however aren’t the only thing on her mind. Reynolds is looking much further into her future with numerous other kayaking events in her sights.

“I’m hoping to do well at the AYOF and then head to GP3 in Sydney and then I really want to do well at Nationals because we have Junior Worlds this year, so it’s a big year for us.”

The Olympics too are always on her mind.

“Of course that’s my biggest dream, I would love to make it to the Olympics, that’s what I’m always aiming for.”

Canoe/kayak sprint will take place at the Sydney International Regatta Centre in Penrith from Wednesday 16 – Friday 18 January.