Hungary-2013- was the largest World Nations Championships to date, with over 2,500 competitors from 30 countries competing over 5 days of racing, over distances 2000m, 1000m, 500m, 200m.
The Australian Auroras Squad (largest number ever competed)- consisted of 250 paddlers, ranging in age from 13 to 65 years of age, with the Australian Teams achieving 35 Medals across all distances and all age groups- 15 Gold, 16 Silver, 4 Bronze. Previously at the World Championships, in 2007 the Australian Auroras won 2 Gold medals in total, and in 2011 won 15 medals.
Of the 45 Australian Junior Paddlers (aged 13 to 18 years) in the Australian Junior Dragon Boat Team- "The Auroras"- 18 came from Queensland, with two Queensland Juniors being selected to be Team Captains-
12 Juniors from the Gold Coast
3 Juniors from Brisbane
1 Junior from the Sunshine Coast
1 Junior from Cairns
1 Junior from Bundaberg
These juniors attended testing camps in Canberra and the Gold Coast in January and May 2013 to qualify for the Australian Junior Squad and once selected, all Juniors committed to an exhausting and rigorous training schedule- with on water training sessions in Brisbane three times a week, plus many more gym, weights and fitness sessions to achieve maximum results. With some of the juniors also completing Years 11 and 12, time management skills, dedication and total focus was needed to fit it all into their weeks.
The racing was televised via livestream via the internet, allowing all family and friends to watch the racing in real time, a huge added bonus for all to be able to experience the excitement in real time.
At the end of the competition, many of the other countries Junior paddlers, who were in awe of the Australian Junior's achievements, wanted to swap their race shirts to gain an Aussie race shirt.
The Qld Juniors exemplified quality teamwork, commitment, and respect for themselves, and for each other.
CONGRATULATIONS ON BEING WORLD CHAMPIONS.