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Four Pemberton paddlers off to Canada Games

For an inland community that specializes in agriculture and forestry, Pemberton is also becoming quite famous for its paddlers.



Under the leadership of Dr. Hugh Fisher, an Olympic canoeist with bronze and silver medals in 1984, the town has fielded champion dragon boat teams for the last five years running.

Some of the paddlers have branched off into other disciplines, and are already showing promise. Four of these athletes have been picked to represent B.C. at the 2005 Canada Games in Regina after strong performances at a regatta in Kamloops.

Sara Wray and Kayla Cherry will represent B.C. in canoe events. Wray won the 200-metre singles race while Cherry was second in the 500-metre singles. In the Canada Games they will team up with other strong paddlers from Maple Ridge and Nanaimo to race in two and four-person canoes.

Sidney Van Loon and Liam Fisher will represent B.C. in the kayak events.

Van Loon out-sprinted the entire field, with the exception of Western Canadian champions Kirsten Bauder and Maggie Henderson.

Fisher, 15, finished third in the 1,000 metre and 400 metre singles by sticking close to 18-year-old Canadian champion Dion Maxwell.

All four athletes got their start with the Laoyam Eagles, Pemberton high school’s champion dragon boat team. The Eagles will be defending their title and their reputation this coming weekend at the Alcan Dragon Boat Festival, joined by other Pemberton Teams.