Canoe slalom event cut short for teens

By Michele McPherson

A group of Tauranga teenagers in Australia for a canoe slalom event have had their tournament cut short because of Queensland's devastating floods.
The New Zealand under-18 development squad includes seven members from Tauranga, aged between 15 and 17.
The team left for Nymboida, four hours south of Brisbane, on January 2, and were due home on Sunday.
Canoe Slalom New Zealand secretary Sue Clarke said Nymboida was not in the flood-affected area, but it had been raining the whole time the team had been there.
"[The event] has had problems with the rain, they have called it off a day early. The dam is no longer controlling the water, which they need to do for a canoe slalom event.
"They were heading for Brisbane for Friday, Saturday, Sunday. I'm not sure what their plans are now. I imagine they will reassess.
"They were going to see the sights, go to a theme park - I don't know if they will go to WaterWorld, I imagine they have seen enough water."
One of the team members is 15-year-old Tauranga Girls' College student Anna Higgins, whose brother Mark works in the flood-affected areas of Toowoomba and Ipswich.
Anna's mother Lou Higgins said she had heard from both her son and daughter.
Mark, 23, lived in Surfers Paradise but had been unable to go to work because of the flooding.
"I spoke to him last night, he said they are all fine. He was in the flood the other day trying to get home from Ipswich," Mrs Higgins said.
She understood the Nymboida area was not in direct danger of flooding, but moves to release water on the river were to prevent flooding further up the state.

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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