Like most of us, Canoe Racing NZ’s newest team member Chris Mehak is looking forward to a kiwi summer, coming from Toronto which was sitting at minus 20 degrees last week. His arrival into a flood-stricken Auckland last Monday morning after the wettest January since records began was undoubtedly not what he expected but that hasn’t dampened his spirits as he jumps straight into his new role.
Chris has joined the CRNZ High Performance team as Performance coach based in Auckland, his primary role being to assist Gordon Walker and the NZ Womens squad as they continue to build toward Paris Olympics and beyond.
“I am very excited to be part of this very high performing team of athletes and coaches and look forward to contributing my theoretical and practical experience to help them to continue their success and pursue excellence.” says Chris.
“I visited back in November and I was really impressed with what I saw from the athletes and coaches, and the wider support staff. Their commitment to excellence and how they all work together, it seems like a really supportive environment and the success reflects that. It’s going to be awesome working within this team, and have great minds to be able to bounce ideas off.”
Chris comes to us from Toronto, where he was Head Coach at Balmy Beach Canoe Club, one of the larger and more successful clubs in Canada. He was a National team athlete for Canada, competing at ICF World Championships in 2010 and 2011, specializing in the K4 1000 and K1 500 events.
“Chris is a highly sought after, up and coming coach in Canada, who has really proven himself with some really strong performances and results by the athletes he has worked with.” said Nathan Luce, CRNZ General Manager of Performance.
“At the recent world champs, he had athletes making A & B finals in men’s & women’s kayak, paracanoe and Special Olympics disciplines, so we know he has the skills and abilities to take on the demands of the job. I know he is going to be a great fit for the Auckland team and we are thrilled to have him in our waka.”
Chris has spent time in New Zealand previously and is really looking forward to enjoying the ocean (no salt water in Toronto) and getting outdoors, especially when his dog Gilmour arrives.
We welcome Chris to the kiwi kayaking community.