Gaibreill Wainohu from Horouta Waka Hoe Waka Ama Club in Gisborne has been nominated for the emerging talent award at the upcoming Halberg Awards.
"My goal is to be the J19 individual world champion at the next worlds, but to do that I have to make sure that I'm the national champion at the next nationals before that to qualify".
A torn ligament in her shoulder has side-lined Wainohu, however, she isn't letting it hold her back.
"So I injured myself in rugby and I've had to adapt my training so that I don't injure myself further, but I still keep myself moving, working and fit".
Now on the road to recovery, Wainohu is in the gym training every day and doing should rehabilitation.
“Off the water training as well, running, swimming, because it all helps and ties in to help with the wakas. Training with the groups and individually on your own so that you do get a little bit of edge on everybody else”.
A world-class paddler, Gaibreill Wainohu is the world junior 16 women's 500m V1 (individual) champion.
“Each year is different you never know who else is doing the work behind the scenes, so you gotta not get complacent, just because I've done a lot of things already, not think that it's going to get handed to me, have to take it”.
Despite the circumstances, Wainohu says the main thing is showing her family and support crew that she has what it takes to go further.
"Everyone around me is still keeping, pushing me, motivating me and reminding me of the bigger picture for 2020 for the next worlds in Hawaii".
The 56th ISPS Handa Halberg Awards will be held on Thursday 21 February 2019 at Spark Arena in Auckland.