Teenage Welwyn canoe polo player Eloise earns Great Britain selection

PUBLISHED: 10:34 21 February 2009 | UPDATED: 22:27 26 October 2009

Eloise Meakins gets ready to throw the ball

Eloise Meakins gets ready to throw the ball

WELWYN teenager Eloise Meakins has been called up to represent the Great Britain U21 canoe polo team. The Queenswood School sport scholar is one of 12 to have been picked for the squad after a selection weekend held in Doncaster last month. That dozen wil

Queenswood School pupil Eloise Meakins on the water

WELWYN teenager Eloise Meakins has been called up to represent the Great Britain U21 canoe polo team.

The Queenswood School sport scholar is one of 12 to have been picked for the squad after a selection weekend held in Doncaster last month.

That dozen will be whittled down to just eight ahead of the European Championships to be held in Essen, Germany in August.

Alongside Eloise in the GB squad will be Pip Grayson and Ceri Winter, who were both part of the World Championship winning GB team in Canada last year.

Eloise Meakins throwing the javelin

Queenswood's director of sport, Jo Wakeley, is clearly delighted with Eloise's international and national achievements.

She said: "We are all extremely proud of Eloise's continued success in canoe polo and slalom.

"She is a talented sportswoman who is determined to go further in her sport."

International honours are nothing new for the Times Territory 15-year-old.

Herts Phoenix athlete Eloise Meakins throwing the javelin

She is already the national U15 canoe slalom champion and represents England U16s in that event, having previously also been the U12 and U13 national champion.

The youngster has been paddling on water from a very young age.

At just 18 months Eloise first experienced canoeing with her father, who is a canoe instructor.

She really took to the sport and by the age of four was ready to canoe by herself!

Since then Eloise, who also excels in athletics, says she has thrived on the adrenaline rush and the fear factor of canoe slalom.

Next month the slalom season begins.

Eloise will be competing in the selection races for both kayak, sitting with a double ended blade, and canoe, kneeling with a single ended blade, during April and May.

The senior European Championships are at Nottingham at the end of May, the Junior European Championships are in Slovakia at the end of July and the senior world championships are in Barcelona in September.

As well as all that, Eloise also throws the javelin for Herts Phoenix.

She has high targets in that discipline.

Eloise is hoping to throw far enough to be selected for the GB team at the World Youth Athletics Championships in Italy later this year.

It is likely that two GB competitors will be selected for the event.

After finishing third in the age group at the AAAs last year she has a chance.

Finally, Eloise also competes as part of the St Albans Ladies' hockey team which came third in the National League in 2008 and also features for the St Albans youth team, Under-18 mixed, which came runners-up in 2008.

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