A woman from Llangollen who was fundraising to enter a World Championships says she was in absolute shock when she found out she had raised enough to go.
Lowri Davies, 32, was hoping to raise £3,000 to get her to the Freestyle Kayak World Championships in Argentina in November.
Lowri isn’t eligible for funding as freestyle kayaking isn’t an Olympic discipline, so she took on extra work and organised fundraisers to get there.
Lowri said: “I was just amazed. Kirsty, who runs River Active Llangollen helped organise the fundraising. She collected it all in, counted it all up after I’d drawn the raffle prizes, and when she told me we’d made it. I was in absolute shock. I didn’t believe it, it was fantastic and to be able to share that with the people who’d come along in support was fantastic. A lot of people contributed to make that happen, it was brilliant.
“I’m not usually eligible for Lottery money as it’s not Olympic discipline like slalom and sprint, but they’ve managed to get some funds from the development pot so they matched me up to £1,000
“My coach suggested having an event at the centre where I work, so we did an after-work evening event, so I didn’t give up a weekend of work. We had a big inflatable race, from the centre to the bottom.
“There must’ve been 30 people there.
“We had lots of fun. Lots of people (took to) the water having a really good time, and then we had a barbecue and we had some music and a raffle as well, so the combination of the raffle, the barbecue and the entry fee raised £1,007, which was amazing.
“I set up a crowdfunding page so anyone who wasn’t there could buy raffle tickets, but then it just took off and there was another £1,000 there, so that’s me there.”
Lowri coaches kayaking on the Dee with freeflow.co.uk and is a former European champion, so she is hopeful of her chances of a medal. She says North Wales is the perfect place to get into the sport.
As well as coaching, she also helps out with Llangollen Canoe Club.
“It’s so good to have the pressure taken off now,” she added.
“I have work over the next few months. I’d been wedging in as much as I could, but now I can actually just work what I have and keep the rest of the time available for training, which is fantastic.
“I leave on November 13, with the competition running for a week from November 28.
“This is kind of the final countdown now. I’ve been learning new moves and ways of combining tricks, training in different places and practising different things on different waves.”
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