Paracanoeist Amanda Reynolds is living the dream. She is currently preparing for the World Championships at the ETC and is progressing well on her Road to Rio.

Two years ago Amanda Reynolds was invited by her friend to participate in the Murray Marathon and she has had the “paddle bug’’ ever since.

12 months later she stepped foot in Moscow, winning bronze on her World Championship debut in the KL3 200 (formerly LTA) final.

Today, she is living the dream and has her eye on competing at the Paralympics, where paracanoe will make its debut.

A dream that is certainly floating at the back of her mind.

“Definitely it is there, every month you get that little bit closer and its getting around closer again, and it’s coming closer,” Reynolds said.

But for now her focus is on producing another strong performance at the ICF World Championships in Milan from 19 to 23 August, where she is hoping to improve on her bronze medal performance last year.

“I would love to,” Reynolds said.

“I think the pieces of the puzzle are starting to click in and my technique is getting a lot better and the boat control, so it would be awesome to get up further but our goal is to get through to the final, keep pushing and aim for the top.”

Since featuring on the podium in Moscow, the Sherbrooke Knox Canoe Club paddler has been happy with her progression.

“I’m really stoked with the progress I’ve made over the past year but we still have a lot to work to do, and being at the ETC is giving me the opportunity to fine tune and keep improving,” Reynolds said.

Since arriving in Varese, Reynolds has now acclimatised to the warm conditions, exchanging a chilly Melbourne winter for mid-30 degree temperatures in Italy.

“The facilities here are awesome and now that I’m settled into the routine, I’m feeling a lot stronger and have more confidence in the kayak.”

The 43 year old who hails from Macclesfield in regional Victoria is also enjoying the larger Australian contingent in action this year.

“It is awesome and everybody get on so well. It is really good because you have got more people to bounce off – there is so many different personalities as well so it is always a laugh.”

From now until the start of racing on Wednesday the goal is pretty simple.

“My plan of attack now is to keep focused with the training program, stay healthy and live the dream because it’s pretty awesome,” Reynolds said.

Please refer below for a full explanation of the new paracanoe classifications.

Paracanoe classification explanation
• KL1 (formerly A): Athletes with no or very limited trunk function and no leg function and typically need a special seat with high backrest in the kayak.
• KL2 (formerly TA): Athletes with partial trunk and leg function, able to sit upright in the kayak but might need a special backrest, limited leg movement during paddling.
• KL3 (formerly LTA): Athletes with trunk function and partial leg function, able to sit with trunk in forward flexed position in the kayak and able to use at least one leg/prosthesis.

At the international level, Non-Paralympic Paracanoe events are the Va’a events. They use the same system of classification. The class titles are: VL1, VL2, VL3.

By Australian Canoeing
Posted: 13/8/2015