We are one step away from the beginning of the WRC competition, and we present to you once again the unusual combination in the U23 Men’s team from Holland, that are coming to the WRC, a mixed team.
Forward Motion has long been present on the rafting scene (team-forward-motion-likes-sports-rafting), (forward-motion-again) , but now we see them in a different composition compared to the 2014 WRC R4 Brazil.
Guus, tell me who will represent the Netherlands in the U23M category at the upcoming WRC R4 2016 Al Ain?
“Kiki Roeling, Bart Roelofs, Thijmen de Vree, Ilse Enter and me Guus Roeling. Our coach is Jenita Göbel, but due to obligations, is prevented from attending the event.”
Tell me something about your team?
“Our team only exist about half a year. Jenita had the idea to form a Youth rafting team and we decided that we wanted to join. Some of us knew each other and some did not, but what we all had in common is that we did kayak before on white water. We did sign up for the Dutch Championship, but unfortunately there was no other team to compete against in the Youth category so we were selected for the WRC without any competition.
We have competed twice before on flat water this year and almost defeated the old Forward Motion team, with 2 members from the U23 team in Brazil in 2014.”
Video Trainingsweek French Alpes
It is a great honor to represent ones country at a World Championship, but what does that mean for you?
“It is a great honor indeed that we can go to the WRC. But it is a pity that in the Netherlands, rafting is not that known. So there are not many people who even know that we are going to the World Championship.”
“Because we do not live near each other we can only train once a week. We mostly train on flat water but we also went to France and Belgium to have some white water training. We have had a week of training in the French Alps and went to Arras, that really helped us prepare.
Our coach, Jenita Göbel, prepared a lot of trainings and put that up on our team website. This way we know what we can do during training to make our self and the team better. Bart is the team captain and prepares the training Jenita gave us, and makes sure we have a location, raft, paddles and lifejackets.”
Do you have any expectations related to the result?
“Because we are a new team and we have not trained that much our goal so far is to not end up last. Place 9 or 8 would be a great accomplishment for us. Generally our expectations are just to have a great time and meet a lot of people from around the world.”
“Of course we all have our favorite race. Bart really likes the downriver, Guus: H2H, Kiki: H2H , Thijmen: Slalom, Ilse: H2H. In the last 2 competitions we did really well in the H2H.”
How does your team relax after a hard training session?
“Because we live far from each other we mostly have to rush to get to the last train home. This means we mostly relax on the way home or if we live near our training place that we relax when we are home.”
Is there something particular you want to see and experience in the UAE?
“We want to experience what it is like to go to a world championship and, as I said earlier, to meet rafters from all over the world.”
“Because rafting is not really known in The Netherlands we have to pay for most of our stuff, it`s hard to find sponsors. We do really want to thank the NRB Nederlandse Raft Bond, also and to the Verweij Advocaten who sponsored all our clothing. This really helped us and made us feel and look more like one team.
The R4 World Championships began in 2010 in the Netherlands. That fantastically organized competition announced a new chapter in the history of the IRF, and these young people are writing a new history of rafting in their country. Maybe not yet so popular, they have plenty of time ahead of them to attract attention. Going to the WRC will definitely help with that, it will surely motivate others to join them, and excellent experience acquired at such a major competition. Enjoy and good stroke!