A young aspiring sportsman is now one step closer to his Olympic dream following support from NPS Group.
James How, 16, from Norfolk, has recently received sponsorship from NPS to obtain much needed kayak equipment to aid his training and better prepare him for races. He currently competes in the highest sprint division, Boys A, and is hoping to one day race for England in the Olympics.
James has come a long way in his training, having suffered terrible injuries in an accident aged 10 which has left him with double vision, right side blindness and reading difficulties.
“When I left hospital I was told I shouldn’t play rugby, football or cricket which are the sports most schools do. My school, Langley near Loddon, asked me if I wanted to try kayaking at the Norwich Canoe Club. So that's how I got started,” said James.
“Kayaking makes me happy and part of a team where I can be myself without support from a specialist teacher.
“I am training really hard with the Langley Kayaking Academy and since being a part of that, I have represented Great Britain in Ghent, Belgium as part of the Youth Development squad. I have also been promoted from Division 9 to Division 3 in marathon racing in the last three years, and in June I won two gold medals with my team mates from Norwich Canoe Club at the National Youth Sprints Championships.
“At the beginning of the year I completed in the Waterside series, which is a series of four races covering 88 miles and 110 portages. It is preparing for the Devices to Westminster race, which I would really like to complete one day.
“This sponsorship will really help me to achieve my goals!”
Managing Director of NPS Group, Mike Britch, said: “We are delighted to be able to offer our support to James. He has overcome so much, and his determination to succeed in kayaking is inspirational.
James is already benefiting from the equipment funded by NPS, and we are so proud to have learnt he is now 8th in the country in the Under 18 Boys category in 1000m sprints following his first Boys A race. Well done James!”