A Kiwi at Keeners
By Nick Collier
In July and August 2019 during what was an exceptionally cold winter in New Zealand, I was fortunate enough to travel abroad to Canada and take part in the Keener program. My name is Nick Collier, I’m a 16-year-old born and bred kiwi with a huge passion for kayaking. As aforementioned, I travelled to Canada and got the opportunity to soak up not only the sunshine but an immense amount of information whilst paddling the Ottawa river. My Keener coaches for session two were, in no particular order, Stephen Wright, Clay Wright, Tyler Curtis, James Nighthawk, Courtney Kerin and guest coach Casey Bryant-Jones.
These coaches were fantastic, always sharing their knowledge and encouraging us to be the best kayakers we could be, both on and off the water. Whilst at Keeners I got to paddle the Jackson Rockstar 4.0 and although I had paddled other Jackson playboats previously and knew the high quality of their boats, I felt that the 4.0 was a whole new step up. The boat performed highly on both waves and holes and paired with the coaching I managed to throw some of the biggest tricks in my life. I had the time of my life in Canada and hugely recommend the Keeners program for any youth kayakers. Currently, I am training hard in canoe slalom for the upcoming New Zealand selection races.
So, If you are wanting to stay up to date with my kayaking journey check out my Instagram @nickcollierkayak.