Vic youth_paddling

Story by Christian J. Stewart (ISN) with Files and Photos From VYPC

Victoria, BC (ISN) – With all the hype and lead-in to the London Olympic Games, the BC Games quietly came and went July 19-22, but four young paddlers from the Victoria Youth Paddling Club (VYPC) made some noise of their own by taking home a total of 25 medals, including perfection of sorts for 15-year old Isobel Glover, who won a medal in each of the 10 events she entered.

At the 2012 BC summer games in Surrey July 19-22, VYPC athletes Isobel Glover, Patrick Linden, Stephen Lucato and MacKenzie Read qualified and joined their Zone 6 teammates from the Nanaimo Canoe and Kayak Club for four intense days of fun and competition. Paddling events at the games included individual and team races in sprint kayak, canoe, white water and outrigger canoe.

Canoe/Kayak rejoined the games officially in 2010 after a long hiatus and the sport is growing in popularity in BC, and obviously here in Victoria, as VYPC athletes counted 25 medals to the overall Zone 6 count helping to make Zone 6 the overall BC Games winner.

Each athlete could enter in up to 10 races at the Games and Victoria’s 14-year old Isobel Glover did just that and took home a medal in every race she entered – 10 medals – while 15-year old Patrick Linden took home 7, and 15-year old Stephen Lucato and 14-year old MacKenzie Read 4 each. 

Glover’s astonishing feat included individual Golds in the Single Kayak (K-1) 2000M and Single Canoe (C-1) 500m, as well as Team Golds in the Girls Kayak 4 (K-4) Open, and Outrigger Canoe (OC6) 500m Open where she teamed with Linden, Lucato and Read.  Also added to her haul were 4 Silver Medals and 2 Bronze’s in various other events.  

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VYPC Paddler Isobel Glover shows off the 10 medals – 4 Golds, 4 Silver and 2 Bronze – that she won at the 2012 BC Summer Games (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)

Despite only being in the sport for 3 years, Glover’s success comes as no surprise to many, including her coach Marcus Krieger, given that she trains for the sport 6 hours each day Monday to Friday and then again for a few hours each Saturday.  “Isobel as well as Patrick, Stephen and Mackenzie have been working hard all summer, all year actually” noted Krieger.  “I kind of expected the success they had. They did an excellent job.”

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Isobel Glover (right) and Danielle Caron (left) train in an outrigger canoe along the Gorge Waterway (Photo: Todd Glover / VYPC)

Glover herself was also confident heading into the Games. “I thought I would do well because I knew my competition, although I really didn’t think I would medal in all my events, especially the slalom and some of the canoe races, so I was pretty happy with how I did.”

The other paddlers were also happily surprised with their results.  Lucato, who has been paddling for 3 years said, “I thought I’d get just a bronze, but I did way better than that!”  He was also quick to credit his teammates for his success. “I won all my events in team boats so I certainly want to thank my team members for that.”  Read, the relative novice of the group added, “I did much better than I thought I would seeing as I’ve only been doing this about a year and a half.” 

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VYPC athletes (left to right) Mackenzie Read (4 medals), Isobel Glover (10 medals), Stephen Lucato (4 medals) and Patrick Linden (7 medals) took home an amazing 25 paddling medals from the 2012 BC Summer Games (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)

When asked of possible Olympic aspirations for Rio in 2016, the foursome were a bit silent, perhaps not yet appreciating that could become a reality, but all hinted that if anyone would be there, it would be Glover.  

Glover’s father Todd, was a bit more cautious about that goal at this point, “Well we haven’t booked any plane tickets yet, but we have been discussing things around travel and the related costs since she is going to the Nationals.  We have suggested that since she is also an accomplished violinist who taught herself to play while riding a unicycle, that she get out and do some busking because she could probably make a fortune.”

Glover is much like all parents who provide love and support to children who aspire to be world class or professional athletes, but he had an interesting perspective on this.  “Our role with her as parents is to help her make room in her life for paddling.  It’s much the same with her music…as long as its something she is taking seriously and practicing regularly, then we’ll cover some of the other tasks and chores she would normally do around the house, so that she has that time for practice and dedication.”

Another day, another training session for Isobel Glover, this time in an outrigger canoe along the Gorge (Photo: Todd Glover / VYPC)

With her record-setting success at the BC Games, Glover has qualified to be part of Team BC at the Canada Summer Games in 2013 in Sherbrooke Quebec. She is also competing this past weekend in at the Canoe Kayak BC Provincials in Burnaby and qualified for Nationals later this summer. 

These four paddling athletes, as well as 12 others from the Island are also heading to Calgary on August 11-15th to join teammates from Nanaimo, Penticton, Calgary and Pemberton on Team Canada boats at the World Outrigger Sprints (See Website Here).  Glover, who was the fastest under 19 Canadian female to qualify for the Canadian team, has been selected as the flag bearer at the event’s parade of nations at the opening ceremonies which will include over 1500 athletes from over 20 different countries.

Other paddlers heading to Calgary include Ben Boyd, Jesse Gibbard, Jesse Weir, James Murray, Nathan Troost, Sandry Trautman, Luke Priddle, Danielle Caron, Paloma Callo, Daisy Linden, Emma Beckwith and Rianna Clarke

Following their competition in Calgary, they come home to participate in the Victoria Dragon Boat Festival August 17-19 and then the Pacific Cup Kayak Race in Maple Ridge on September 29-30 where they will see some of the same competition from the BC Games and thus should do well.

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VYPC athletes Isobel Glover, Patrick Linden, Stephen Lucato and Mackenzie Read (kneeling left to right) and Coach Marcus Krieger (standing centre, red jacket) will join 12 other VYPC paddlers at the World Outrigger Canoe Championships in Calgary August 11-15 (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)

About the VYPC – “Creating Paddlers for Life”

The Victoria Youth Paddling Club is a registered non-profit society dedicated to developing, promoting, and running programs leading to fun, fitness, skill development, and competition in kayaking and canoeing. 

The Club’s operations are supported by a facility and equipment partnership with the Ocean River Paddling Club.  For details, vist their website at or their Facebook site at