KEEN to make friends in a new town, a youngster with a ‘gung-ho’ attitude has tried a new sport and won an award in the process.
Fourteen-year-old Ben Underwood has been awarded a Sportivate award after trying kayaking for the first time with the Slea Paddlers and displaying a natural talent for the sport, as well as showing boundless enthusiasm and 100 per cent effort throughout.
Ben, originally from Kent, moved to Sleaford to live with his grandmother Linda in January this year and in order to make new friends and meet people, he signed up for the six-week course to try his hand at kayaking after reading about the sessions in the Sleaford Standard.
Slea Paddlers Sportivate coordinator Paul Pattinson said that his first impression of Ben at his first session was that he was keen and ‘goes for it, puts in 100 per cent and at times goes in all guns blazing’.
He added: “With that in mind, all through his six sessions he was very focused and it was getting to the point where his skills were very defined and he was passing on tips to other participants.”
After his final assessment Ben passed with flying colours and gained his British Canoe Union (BCU) 1 Star award.
He was nominated for the Sportivate award by Paul and was presented with a special hoodie and a certificate to mark his achievement.
Ben’s grandmother Linda Underwood said: “Ben absolutely loved kayaking although he was a bit gung-ho at first and kept falling in.
Now he has got his first star award, he wants to get more so he can try fast water paddling.”
Ben will be joining the Slea Paddlers as a member next month.
The Sportivate kayaking sessions were run through the Lincolnshire Sports Partnership which funds six-week sport sessions to encourage teenagers to take part in sport.