Naomi and Sophie Johnson
1/ When did you join the club and why?
We both started training with Fairfield in 2006 as part of Trinity's Saturday session, and then joined the next year. Strathcona, where we had started paddling, was offering training sessions through the winter, and it was important to us for kayaking to become more than a seasonal activity.
2/ Do you do any other sports? Had you done any kayaking before joining FCC?
We started kayaking through Strathcona BGGS, with whom we each did 4 Murray Marathons. It was offered from year nine, and we were both active on the team throughout our later years at school. In 2007 (my year 12, Sophie's year 10), we were both on the Strathcona team that won the girls school relay at the Murray. Our main sporting focus is kayaking, but Sophie has become a keen cyclist, and I have recently taken up yoga. At school we did quite a range of sport; basketball and artistic gymnastics (Sophie) and swimming (me).
3/ What are you doing now – study, work, school?
Sophie is in her third year of a Bachelor of Nursing and Psychology at Deakin University. I'm doing my Honours year of a Bachelor of Music at The University of Melbourne majoring in flute performance. Last year I also completed a Diploma of French at Melbourne. We both work part-time, Sophie at Chemist's Warehouse and me tutoring French.
4/ What were your impressions when you first came to the club?
We were both really impressed by the facilities the club offers, it was the first time we had ever been near racing kayaks! For our first couple of years we mostly trained with Joe, Connie and the Trinity squad, but since leaving school we have started paddling at general club sessions. We really enjoy the friendly, supportive atmosphere, the club has a great community feel and we always feel part of a team at races.
5/ What are you training for now?
The winter series of course! There is also the possibility that we will do a K2 half marathon at this year's Murray.
6/ What is a typical training week ?
We try to do two sessions a week, dependant of course on Uni commitments. The Sunday club session is a definite, and then either the Tuesday evening session to Dight’s or another morning.
7/ Doing any other training off the water?
Sophie cycles almost everywhere, and I enjoy doing some laps of the swimming pool.
8/ Coach at the club that is helping?
We go out with Joe Alia sometimes on a Wednesday, which is often a real wake up call in terms of technique!
9/ Anything else you want to say; advice to other kayakers your age?
It would be fantastic to see more kayakers our age active at the club and in competitions! So many people stop coming once they get to uni and need to juggle studying, working and life in general, but it is a great sport for both fitness and fun. We love taking part in competitions, even when (as is sometimes the case) we are the only boat in our category and hope that we will be able to do so for a long while to come!