Now preparing to take on the best juniors

Australia is set to be well-represented at the upcoming world junior and under-23 canoe slalom championships by South West resident Billie Knell, who is currently in Sydney squeezing in some intense training for the prestigious event.

In between school and study commitments, the exciting paddling talent is taking up the opportunity to practice at Penrith Whitewater Stadium.

The teenager’s time at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games venue will help prepare her for the fierce competition she will no doubt face from the world’s finest in less than two months.

Following Year 12 exams in June, the 17-year-old Bunbury Senior High School student will jet to Europe where she will put herself to the test at an ECA Junior Slalom Cup in Germany before displaying her prowess for the sport at the main event in Slovakia.

The South West Academy of Sport athlete will be one of just two women flying the flag for Australia in the C1 class at the championships in July.

Having donned the green and gold at last year’s championship in Poland, Knell knows what to expect when she once again races on the world stage.

“It’s a good atmosphere,” she said.

“In Europe, it’s a pretty popular sport, so there are heaps of competitors and spectators.

“It’s exciting because you’re competing against the world’s best and get to see how you go.”