Quesnel athletes excelling on the water

There are many clubs on the go in Quesnel, but one club you may not be aware of is the Northern Riders Watersports Club.

Hailey Doucette grabs big air on a jump during training.



































Observer Reporter

There are many clubs on the go in Quesnel, but one club you may not be aware of is the Northern Riders Watersports Club. Started in June 2015 the club instructs new members on the fundamentals of watersports like wakeboarding and wakeskating, as they learn new skills on the water and most importantly have fun.

Coordinator of the Northern Riders Watersports Club Steve Woollends says the focus of the club is to show them different sports than what they are used to.

“Just to get the young kids out on the water learning sports and getting them ready for competitions,” Woollends said.

He says the club has a lot of benefits to members as it allows them to stay active, gives them self-confidence and allows them to be part of a team.

Currently there are eight members in the club but are hoping to increase their numbers for next year.

The club meets for two hour training sessions, twice a week for most of the summer.

The members include Hailey, Hannah and Holden Doucette, Cole Salmons, Cash Walker and Caleb, Noah and Issac Woollends. The one thing all eight have in common is a love for watersports.

“Watching these kids learning, encouraging and coaching each other has been amazing,” Woollends said.

He says all the kids in the club had experience in wakeboarding before joining, but it’s not necessary.

“These kids already knew how to get up on the wakeboard and now it’s just going through the progression and learning new techniques,” Woollends said.

He adds he learned a lot about the sport from an instructors course he took.

“I took a wakeboard instructors course last year and that taught me the progression of what and how I should be teaching these kids,” Woollends said.

Caleb and Noah Woollends, are also part of the BC Wakeboard Development team, where they get instructed by professional wakeboarders.

This gives them more training and information they can bring home and share with the club.

After all their training during the season they put their skills to work as they attend competitions. First they competed in the BC Summer Games in Abbotsford July 23 – 26 where they showed their skills on the water,  picking up some hardware.

Hailey and Hannah Doucette had a strong performance as Hannah took home first place in the under-18 wakeboard and placed second in the under-18 wakeskate.

Hailey placed fifth in the under-18 wakeboard and finished third in the under-18 wakeskate.

Noah Woollends placed third in the under-14 wakeboard and finished second in the under-14 wakeskate, while Caleb Woollends finished fifth in the under-14 wakebaord and third in the under-14 wakeskate.

After the BC Summer Games they were at it again, this time at the BC Provinvials with five member competing.

Hannah Doucette placed third in the under-18 wakeboarding and second in under-18 wakeskating, while Hailey Doucette was fourth in under-18 wakeboarding and wakeskating.

Holden Doucette placed second in under-9 wakeboarding and Caleb Woollends placed first in under-13 intermediate boys wakeboarding.

Noah Woollends finished second in under-13 advanced boys wakeboarding and placed third in his first ever rail jam.

Five days after Provincials they were off to the Canadian Wakeboard Nationals with Hannah finishing third in the junior women’s category and also placed fourth in the women’s professional division, while Hailey finished seventh in junior women’s category.

In the junior boys category Holden Doucette placed second and in the boys category Noah Woollends narrowly missed the podium finishing fourth with his brother Caleb close behind in fifth. If you would like more information on the club you can contact Steve Woollends at swoollends@hotmail.com.



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