15 year old Emma Tonner is a kayaker from North Hykeham near Lincoln.
Most memorable achievement:
As a 14 year old, winning my first national title in U16 K1 – I blasted the field with the most perfect race. Everything came together just right on the day – it was the most incredible feeling.
Due to illness I haven’t competed in the last few events but I am now back training fully and this slight set back has helped to motivate me for the rest of the year. It is a learning curve for me; athletes have to overcome setbacks due to injury, illness and loss of form. It is a physiological challenge and tests confidence. It is said that it is the ability to recover from a setback that is the measure of a true champion. It is especially disappointing if setbacks happen before major events. There will be many athletes who are having to cope with missing the Olympics games due to such setbacks and will have to wait four years for the next chance.
My next competition is on the weekend of 21st/22nd July and is a National regatta. It is also the last chance to get selected for the upcoming Olympic Hopes regatta in Hungary in September of this year; having missed the last selection from illness it will be especially tough to get selected.
Other upcoming events include the National Marathon Championships on 25th/26th August and the National Sprint Championships on 1st/2nd September. I collected a Silver and Bronze Medal last year and hope to place top three in the Single Kayak K1 event again.
I have a new light weight marathon boat thanks to the funding I have received from LEAP. I hope this is going to give me an additional edge in the races.
Between October-April it is the closed season for kayaking and there are few races. Since the end of September when I had my last international of 2011 I have instead been training hard to build up an endurance base, strength and focusing a lot on technical work with my coach and as part of a sports science programme with students from the University of Lincoln.
Towards the end of last year I had a back injury; luckily I could coincide my rest and recovery of this with the rest period we usually have in October; which includes minimal training to recover from a hard season’s racing to prevent exhaustion in the new year and preparation to start a hard winters training. Therefore at a national testing event at the beginning of November my results showed my injury. However, at a much more recent one I showed dramatic improvement, showing that my training was paying off and I my preparation for the new season was going to plan.
My next competition is a National Sprint kayaking regatta on 14-15th April in Nottingham. This is not a selection regatta for any international races but I will be aiming to come in the top 6, as this is the standard needed for selection later in the year. In May I have a chance to race in an international sprint regatta in Gent, Belgium as part of a regional team to gain more experience of racing aboard for future events.