Smokin' on the water

A year and a half to remember.

A year and a half to remember.

MEMORIES ARE MADE OF THIS: Olympic double gold medallist Lisa Carrington and Gisborne’s Alicia Hoskin carry their canoe out of the water at the Blue Lakes 2 regatta where they won the K2 200-metre and 500m races. Picture supplied

Gisborne's Alicia Hoskin has scaled the heights and plumbed the depths in her sport over the past 18 months.

On Saturday at the Canoe Racing New Zealand Annual Sports and Recognition Awards, 18-year-old Hoskin received the Lisa Carrington Cup for junior athlete of the year.

She had also been awarded the cup as a 16-year-old in 2016.

Between those two awards functions, she was diagnosed with a heart condition that — if it had not been found — could have killed her.

Since Hoskin heard the diagnosis that threatened her sporting dreams, she has had a surgical procedure that successfully treated the condition and enabled her to resume competition.

Saturday’s award of the Lisa Carrington Cup came in a year when Hoskin had won individual and team-boat titles at the New Zealand championships, the Oceania champs in Sydney and the Asia-Pacific champs in Adelaide.

Hoskin, a former Gisborne Girls’ High School student, is studying for a degree in sport and recreation at the Auckland University of Technology.

At the start of the year, she was selected — alongside Poverty Bay Kayak Club-mates Britney Ford and Kim Thompson — for the Canoe Racing New Zealand high-performance women’s squad, based at the Millennium Institute on Auckland’s North Shore.

And only a few weeks ago, Olympic gold medallist Lisa Carrington suggested they pair up for the K2 races at the Blue Lakes 2 regatta held last weekend.

With Carrington having assumed a mentor’s role, it was all the more special that she presented the cup bearing her name to Hoskin on Saturday night. Just that morning they had raced to a 2.5-second win in the open women’s K2 200-metre race.

After her first Lisa Carrington Cup award, Hoskin had looked to have the foundations for another successful campaign in 2017.

It was recommended that, as part of her preparation for inclusion in the high-performance development pathway, she undergo a routine cardiac assessment.

Then one afternoon, a few weeks before she was due to leave for the 2017 junior world championships and in the middle of a hard session, she was pulled off the river.

“My tests had come back positive for Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome,” Hoskin said.

“As I listened to Mum and Dad describe what was happening, it felt like my world had fallen apart.

“When you set yourself a target, train so hard and spend so much time totally shattered, and in one phone call it’s all up in the air, it’s really hard.”

The condition is one in which the heart has an extra electrical pathway. Under certain conditions, it can lead to periods of rapid heart rate, which in some athletes can cause death. But it is treatable.

Top New Zealand athletes who have been treated for similar heart conditions include Sir Peter Snell, Rob Waddell, Nathan Cohen, Hayden Roulston and Hamish Carter.

'Repackaging it all'

Alicia’s father, Craig Hoskin, said High Performance Sport New Zealand had been “incredible”.

“They ensured Alicia had some of the best consultants giving advice, and she was fortunate to have surgery with one of the top cardiac surgeons specialising in the specific treatment — cardiac ablation.”

Alicia Hoskin said “there were tears”, but then she “repackaged it all” and realised how fortunate she was.

“I hadn’t had any physical symptoms, and I had been treated successfully,” she said.

“For that, I am really grateful for the testing High Performance Sport New Zealand has put in place, and to the surgeons who looked after me.”

It was three months from diagnosis before Hoskin would tentatively dip the paddles into the water again at the 2017 Blue Lakes Regatta.

“It was the best feeling,” she said.

“I lacked a bit of speed and fitness, but it felt great just to be back on the water with my Poverty Bay clubmates. It was incredible.

“I had a good 2018 nationals, which then led into the Oceania and Asia Pacific champs.”

The goal was always the junior worlds and, despite one mistake in the semifinals, Hoskin came away with a win in the B Final.

This year has been a leap in terms of training and preparation, as well as experiences.

Her selection in the Canoe Racing New Zealand high-performance women’s squad meant she was “a little star-struck” for the first few months.

“I would be in the gym working out beside Valerie Adams, or having Eliza McCartney come up and say: ‘Hi, I’m Eliza’. And then there is turning up to training every day and you are with Lisa Carrington, Caitlin Ryan, Aimee Fisher and Kayla Imrie, who are all at the very top of canoe racing worldwide.”

A few weeks before Blue Lakes 2, the last regatta before the February nationals, Hoskin received a call from Carrington’s coach Gordon Walker.

“He said Lisa had asked if I would like to do the K2 races with her,” Hoskin said.

“I can’t begin to describe my excitement, but not only that, I’d be sitting in the No.1 seat.

“For our first training session I was so nervous, the whole boat seemed to be shaking.

“She helped me relax, and offered a lot of advice such as what to focus on at the start, and little technical pointers as well.

“It was a cool experience to have so much power behind me in the boat.”

In the K2, the pairing took gold in both the 200m and 500m. While the 200m was a commanding win, the 500m was a lot closer. The high-performance pairing of Caitlin Ryan and Briar McLeely pushed them right to line, and only 0.2 of a second separated them.

Carrington said it was good paddling with someone so eager to learn.

“She’s also a heap of fun and just loves racing, and that really rubs off on me.”

Gisborne's Alicia Hoskin has scaled the heights and plumbed the depths in her sport over the past 18 months.

On Saturday at the Canoe Racing New Zealand Annual Sports and Recognition Awards, 18-year-old Hoskin received the Lisa Carrington Cup for junior athlete of the year.

She had also been awarded the cup as a 16-year-old in 2016.

Between those two awards functions, she was diagnosed with a heart condition that — if it had not been found — could have killed her.

Since Hoskin heard the diagnosis that threatened her sporting dreams, she has had a surgical procedure that successfully treated the condition and enabled her to resume competition.

Saturday’s award of the Lisa Carrington Cup came in a year when Hoskin had won individual and team-boat titles at the New Zealand championships, the Oceania champs in Sydney and the Asia-Pacific champs in Adelaide.

Hoskin, a former Gisborne Girls’ High School student, is studying for a degree in sport and recreation at the Auckland University of Technology.

At the start of the year, she was selected — alongside Poverty Bay Kayak Club-mates Britney Ford and Kim Thompson — for the Canoe Racing New Zealand high-performance women’s squad, based at the Millennium Institute on Auckland’s North Shore.

And only a few weeks ago, Olympic gold medallist Lisa Carrington suggested they pair up for the K2 races at the Blue Lakes 2 regatta held last weekend.

With Carrington having assumed a mentor’s role, it was all the more special that she presented the cup bearing her name to Hoskin on Saturday night. Just that morning they had raced to a 2.5-second win in the open women’s K2 200-metre race.

After her first Lisa Carrington Cup award, Hoskin had looked to have the foundations for another successful campaign in 2017.

It was recommended that, as part of her preparation for inclusion in the high-performance development pathway, she undergo a routine cardiac assessment.

Then one afternoon, a few weeks before she was due to leave for the 2017 junior world championships and in the middle of a hard session, she was pulled off the river.

“My tests had come back positive for Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome,” Hoskin said.

“As I listened to Mum and Dad describe what was happening, it felt like my world had fallen apart.

“When you set yourself a target, train so hard and spend so much time totally shattered, and in one phone call it’s all up in the air, it’s really hard.”

The condition is one in which the heart has an extra electrical pathway. Under certain conditions, it can lead to periods of rapid heart rate, which in some athletes can cause death. But it is treatable.

Top New Zealand athletes who have been treated for similar heart conditions include Sir Peter Snell, Rob Waddell, Nathan Cohen, Hayden Roulston and Hamish Carter.

'Repackaging it all'

Alicia’s father, Craig Hoskin, said High Performance Sport New Zealand had been “incredible”.

“They ensured Alicia had some of the best consultants giving advice, and she was fortunate to have surgery with one of the top cardiac surgeons specialising in the specific treatment — cardiac ablation.”

Alicia Hoskin said “there were tears”, but then she “repackaged it all” and realised how fortunate she was.

“I hadn’t had any physical symptoms, and I had been treated successfully,” she said.

“For that, I am really grateful for the testing High Performance Sport New Zealand has put in place, and to the surgeons who looked after me.”

It was three months from diagnosis before Hoskin would tentatively dip the paddles into the water again at the 2017 Blue Lakes Regatta.

“It was the best feeling,” she said.

“I lacked a bit of speed and fitness, but it felt great just to be back on the water with my Poverty Bay clubmates. It was incredible.

“I had a good 2018 nationals, which then led into the Oceania and Asia Pacific champs.”

The goal was always the junior worlds and, despite one mistake in the semifinals, Hoskin came away with a win in the B Final.

This year has been a leap in terms of training and preparation, as well as experiences.

Her selection in the Canoe Racing New Zealand high-performance women’s squad meant she was “a little star-struck” for the first few months.

“I would be in the gym working out beside Valerie Adams, or having Eliza McCartney come up and say: ‘Hi, I’m Eliza’. And then there is turning up to training every day and you are with Lisa Carrington, Caitlin Ryan, Aimee Fisher and Kayla Imrie, who are all at the very top of canoe racing worldwide.”

A few weeks before Blue Lakes 2, the last regatta before the February nationals, Hoskin received a call from Carrington’s coach Gordon Walker.

“He said Lisa had asked if I would like to do the K2 races with her,” Hoskin said.

“I can’t begin to describe my excitement, but not only that, I’d be sitting in the No.1 seat.

“For our first training session I was so nervous, the whole boat seemed to be shaking.

“She helped me relax, and offered a lot of advice such as what to focus on at the start, and little technical pointers as well.

“It was a cool experience to have so much power behind me in the boat.”

In the K2, the pairing took gold in both the 200m and 500m. While the 200m was a commanding win, the 500m was a lot closer. The high-performance pairing of Caitlin Ryan and Briar McLeely pushed them right to line, and only 0.2 of a second separated them.

Carrington said it was good paddling with someone so eager to learn.

“She’s also a heap of fun and just loves racing, and that really rubs off on me.”

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