News & Events

Standout Paddlers


Two Coolock students have discovered that taking up a fun new sport not only introduced them to a new community, but also gave them an opportunity to achieve outstanding success.

Sophie Hughes (Year 9) and Tobias Sexton (Year 8) both accomplished excellent results at the Victorian Sprint Canoeing Championships at Lake Nagambie in early March.

Talented kayaker Sophie debuted at the event last year, winning four gold medals, despite having only been in the sport for a few months at the time. At this year’s event she increased her success by winning six gold medals – four in singles and two in pairs – and was recorded as the fastest female on the day. 

She won gold in the women’s 16-and-under 1000, 18-and-under K1 200, 16-and-under K1 2500, 16-and-under K1 500 and 16-and-under K2 500.

Newcomer to the sport, Toby won silver and bronze in the 14-and-under K1 200 and 500 metres at his first state sprint titles. His potential is evident as hard work and enthusiasm is already translating into medals.

Both Sophie and Toby have been selected to the Bendigo Academy of Sport where they undertake strength and conditioning training in partnership with La Trobe University students. The Academy oversees the development and progression of promising young athletes in the Bendigo area.

Sophie and Toby were selected to join the Victorian State Kayaking team and will compete at the National Championships in Penrith at the Sydney International Regatta Centre in April of this year. As a precursor to that event, they both competed at the Victorian Schools Sprint and Marathon event at Lake Nagambie in mid-March where Sophie won four gold and one silver from five races. Toby came home with two gold, one silver and one bronze from four races.