Kiwi kayaker George Snook is racing against time to raise $10,000 to compete in the 2021 Canoe Slalom Junior World Championships in Slovenia.
The 17-year-old from Rotorua was recently voted 2021 World Grom of the Year by 500 of the world's best kayakers.
The slalom junior worlds race runs from July 6-11, and Snook must leave in two weeks.
The world championship will be a stepping stone for Snook to get to the Paris 2024 Olympics where he aims to win double gold for New Zealand.
"If I make it to Slovenia I'll give it everything and leave nothing out on the course. I've put my all into preparing – have fine-tuned my every move and know I can do well," Snook said.
He is one of only a few Kiwis hoping to compete at the world champs.
The only thing stopping him from getting to Slovenia is money, so his supporters have launched a Givealittle page.
They hope to raise $10,000 to get him and his kayak there and to pay for accommodation, living expenses and managed isolation and quarantine.
Any surplus will go into his training and competing in New Zealand.
Former Olympic kayaker Mike Dawson, from Tauranga, is Snook's high-performance coach. He is calling on New Zealanders to get behind and give a little to this young paddler.
"George is driven, talented and hard-working. He's got to where he is through grit and determination. Kayaking is a tough sport to attract sponsorship and George's family is right behind him but, like most Kiwi families, they simply don't have the funds to pay for everything."
"I'd love to see New Zealanders step in and support George through Givealittle – he's hardworking and humble and deserves every cent," Dawson said.
Snook said he will paddle above and beyond to make New Zealand proud.
"I've already been lucky to have a lot of people support me and was reluctant to go cap in hand to the public but have been talked into it. I hope Kiwis will see me as someone worth giving to – what I can say is that I will work my utmost for every cent."
Snook will only be 21 years old at the Paris 2024 Olympics and has ambitions to compete at the 2028 and 2032 Olympics.
To donate to Snook's goal, search Help George Win Gold for NZ on givealittle.co.nz.
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