Young Rotorua paddler hopes to bring back gold

16-year-old Makayla Timoti is aiming to bring back gold when she heads off to the IVF World Elite Waka Ama Championships in Tahiti next month.

The John Paul College student has been busy with her training because she will be competing in three different areas at the worlds.

Timoti has been training hard every day of the week and won’t stop until after the worlds.

“This year it’s been full-on with all the different elite camps and I’m paddling for another club up in Auckland so I have to travel up there often as well as trying to fit in my own training here- so it’s been really busy,” says Timoti, who has been paddling competitively for the last three years.

Her mother, Annalee Timoti, says that In 2016 she competed in the waka ama worlds where she won silver.

“The people she’s involved with- like-minded people that have made her want to stay in that high calibre of racing because they are all like-minded- they are all mates off the water, they get on the water and it’s all high level competition.”

At her local club, Hei Matau in Rotorua, Timoti is a role model for the younger paddlers according to club member and past coach of Timoti, Kelly Korau.

“What Makayla gives it isn’t just on the water, it’s in the gym, its at crossfit, it’s everywhere, it’s at school- she is just a talented young woman and I am looking forward to how her future will pan out for her.” 

The IVF Waka Ama Worlds takes place in Tahiti from the 16-26 of July.