Meet world champion paddler Vesna Aroha Radonich, International Paddling Coach, athlete, mum, who shares knowledge that helped shaped her to become the world's best through coaching, online memberships, mentoring and workshops.
I grew up with behavioural learning difficulties, hearing impairment, challenges of drug and alcohol addictions, mental health, smoking, overweight, confidence issues through younger life.
In my mid 20's while living in Australia I was introduced to outriggers / waka ama. I explained to the coach that I couldn’t hear on the water as my hearing aids were not water proof. She said
"No problem we will make you the caller, every 12 strokes you call a HUP to change sides."
With that, I had a new passion for a sport, as no longer was my hearing disability a barrier to participation. Through this sport I was able to overcome my challenges of growing up. I was ablw e to channel my energy into waka ama to help heal, develop coping strategies, which lead me to becoming a world champion 2012 World Sprint Championships in the W1 500m ELITE premier open womens.
Today, I am an international paddling coach, working with paddlers on their strengths, developing strategies and empowering them to be faster and smarter on and off the water"
SUCCESS FROM COACHING
While I have achieved many world and national titles in my sport waka ama. The greatest and most rewarding successes have been with paddlers and teams who I have coached who have achieved beyond what they thought they were capable doing in waka ama. Meet 2021 NZ National Waka Ama Sprint Champions Nganui from Te Pou Herenga Waka Ama Club. A team who came from CrossFit background and paddled as a second sport. As a team they barely made semi finals and never experienced being lane 1 (top teams race here). I was given opportunity to coach them, by paddling with them, we achieved the highest pinnacle, GOLD medal. First ever medal for these ladies in the sprints & first GOLD medal for them all.
Let me help you and your team to empower you to be faster and smarter on and off the water