Michael had a fantastic opportunity two weeks ago where he was invited to go to Slovakia to meet the manufacturers of his new boat a Vajda Salto. He was collected with one of his sponsors at the airport and then taken to Vajda, given a tour of the factory and then had his boat moulded to him. This will make a significant different to his paddling as this boat is only 8.2kg in weight which means that it has improved manoeuvrability. After the fitting the gentlemen from Vajda took him out for lunch then it was back to the airport and home. The boat had its first outing on the Olympic course at Lee Valley near London this weekend and made a significant to Michael’s delivery and performance. This new boat was actually funded by Michael himself through hard work and determination.
Michael started canoeing at the age of 6, was the Junior British Marathon Champion at the age of 10, and then decided to focus on one discipline and switched to slalom. He has competed for England for at least the last 5 years and won the British Canoe Slalom Championships in Glasgow this year for his age group J15 and the Junior 16 group when he had literally just turned 15.
Michael’s long-term goal is to represent his country in Europe and hopefully the world; he is training hard at the moment to get selected at Easter for the Great Britain Junior Slalom Team, as well as studying hard for his GCSEs.
Once he has completed his GCSEs it’s off to college to get his A levels – he wants to try to achieve four – and then study for a degree either full or part-time dependent on his position as an athlete.