Nick near the Finish Line & Alex near Olympic Rings
Over several years two of the club's younger members, Nick & Alex Dyason, sons of Gary & Kathy Dyason, have been developing their skills and achieving success in K1 & K2 marathon and sprint events. Apart from their parents, club members from WRCC have been instrumental in identifying and developing the boys' natural talent, and providing support where possible, especially Rod Stanley and Matt and Peter Ingerman. Their work and efforts have paid off with very credible performances from both.
During 12 - 16 March 2008 Nick and Alex competed in the Olympic Selection Trials at the Oceania & Australia Canoe/Kayak Championships held at The International Regatta Centre in Penrith. The competition was fierce with competitors from all over Australia competing against the boys in their selected events.
Alex Dyason was in the 16 years age group and made it into the finals in his K2 1000m and 500m events.
Nick Dyason, in the 18 years age group, made the finals (some B finals) for all of his races in the 1000m, 500m & 200m, K1 and K2 events.
The boys were excited to watch the battle for Olympic selection first-hand and Nick was especially pleased to be able to talk to Ken Wallace (who later achieved gold in the K1 500-metre sprint and bronze in the K1 1000 metres at the Beijing Olympics) about his kayak foot strap! Nick was looking to purchase a foot strap for his own boat and when he met Ken Wallace at the Nelo stand at the Nationals, it was a great chance to get top level information. Ken was happy to discuss the one he used and also the one Clint Robinson used. Nick purchased the one recommended and used by Ken – every little bit helps in competition!
Nick and Alex’s success demonstrated what a great job Matt and Pete had done (& are still doing) in training them to this standard and it was decided after the March Championships that Nick should nominate for the National Talent Squad with a view to further enhancing his training and gaining greater experience. He was eventually selected for a Queensland Talent Squad.
Following his success at the Oceania & Australia Championships in 2008 - Nick went on to win the Queensland Canoeing Junior Canoeist Award for the Year for 2007/2008. This award was doubly valued and appreciated as Ken Wallace also has his name on this perpetual trophy.
The next year was a big challenge with both Nick and Alex competing at the top of their age groups. In 2009 Nick competed in Adelaide, Sydney and Perth in sprints - making most of the finals for his races and was selected to represent Australia in marathon K2 in June 2009 in Denmark and was placed 6th in that event.
Alex also competed in the Adelaide and Perth events, making some of the finals. He didn't go to the Nationals in March 2010, but is training hard to race in the marathons and sprints later this year (2010). He had been looking forward to the February, 2010, Tingalpa Trot, hoping to better Nick's time, but unfortunately didn't get the opportunity due to "The Tsunami!"
Nick, Alex and parents, Kathy & Gary, give special acknowledgment to Rod Stanley for his coaching wisdom on and off the water, to Matt and Peter for being prepared to share their knowledge, competition experience and precious time, to get them to where they are today - able to compete at a National and International level and to the many members of our club who have shown their support with fundraising ventures. The family is also extremely thankful to Helen Murray, Councillor for Redland City Council and Patron of our Club, for a Council grant that purchased the Nelo kayak Nick is using, which is perfect for his type of competition.
Success requires dedication, commitment and sacrifice and Nick and Alex have been training for up to 5 sessions a week for years leading up to these events. After Denmark, Nick took a break from his training, but has recently started again. Alex is looking forward to training hard to compete in the Nationals in 2011. Nick, being now in the Open category, has a few years to hone his skills to be at a competitive level.
Both boys enjoy their kayaking as it is a sport they can continue for a long time and we look forward to updates from the Dyason camp.
Footnote: WRCC has a great depth of talent amongst it's members. Read about Digby winning Gold at the Masters, young Jack Bicknell's first event, see photos from the BV 100 marathon & more. Go to Photos & Recollections.