SHOULD Hawke's Bay kayaker Brook Welch achieve his long-term goal of Olympic selection and command the attention of major sponsors it would be appropriate if a supermarket chain jumped on board.
Havelock North's Welch, 17, the only Bay paddler to be selected in the eight-strong New Zealand under-19 canoe racing team for next month's Australian Grand Prix event in Penrith has certainly helped keep the profits of his favourite supermarket up.
"Like his brother, Ryan (who is also a New Zealand rep and eyeing Olympic selection in the future), Brook can't walk past the pantry without opening it. They're continually grazing," said their father and Havelock North builder, Ian Welch.
"I haven't got the exact figures but our weekly grocery bill is regularly around the $400 mark. But we're not complaining the boys are obviously eating the right stuff," he said.
Brook rattled off his favourite meals for Sport Today as he took a break between training sessions.
"Pasta, chicken and fish. I don't have red meat so I have vitamin B injections once a week and I also take iron tablets," he said.
A Havelock North High School Year 13 student, Brook will compete in K1, K2 and K4 1000m and 500m events at the February 23 and 24 Grand Prix. This event is his major goal for the summer.
"The best of the Aussie paddlers will be there so it will be good if we can come home with a medal or two," said Brook.
He will spend two weeks training on the Gold Coast before the Grand Prix with Hungarian Peter Petho who was Canoe Racing Australia's coach-of-the-year last year. Petho is also an Australia Institute of Sport coach.
While rapt about his latest selection and the opportunity to train with Petho, Brook still rates competing at last year's Youth Olympics in Sydney as the highlight of his three-year involvement with the sport.
He was a member of the Kiwi team that finished sixth in the K4 1000 and a K2 combination which missed out on a berth in the A final by one place.
A former national champion in the K2 and K1 10km event, Brook will still be eligible for next year's Youth Olympics and is keen to improve on last year's finishes. He knows some top performances next month and again at the Youth Olympics will enhance his chances of achieving his long-term goal of selection for the 2016 Olympics.
"There's an outside chance of making the 2012 Olympics in London and that would be a bonus but 2016 is a realistic goal. I'm in this sport for the long haul ... I don't know what I want to do job wise yet but I know where I'm going with my paddling."
Brook has Wellington's Mark Watson as his personal coach and is also trained by Bay club coach Pip Pearson. Brook is a long-time member of the Waimarama Surf Lifesaving Club and also plays canoe polo for his school.
"I'm also considering a return to the Trojans Swimming Club to help get my fitness up," he said before heading for another one- hour, 45-minute training session on the Clive River, which will take his tally to 15 hours of training this week.
No prizes for guessing where dad Ian and mum Sharon headed as Brook travelled to Clive. Yes ... to the pantry to make sure there will be enough food there when the kayaker returns.