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60OLYMPIC REVIEWOLYMPIC SOLIDARITYOLYMPIC SOLIDARITYOlympic Solidarity is the body that ensures that talented athletes, regardless oftheir financial status, have an equal chance of reaching the Olympic Gamesand succeeding in the Olympic arena. It is responsible for administering andmanaging the National Olympic Committees' (NOCs') share of the revenue fromthe sale of broadcasting rights to the Olympic Games. Working in particular with the most disadvantaged NOCs and their Continental Associations, OlympicSolidarity uses this money to develop a range of assistance programmes. Within its total budget, USD 61 million is earmarked to provide support toathletes for the 2009-2012 Olympic Solidarity quadrennial period.RAPID REACTIONOLYMPIC REVIEWCATCHES UP WITH THREEOLYMPIC SOLIDARITY SCHOLARSHIP HOLDERSAS THEY TARGET LONDON 2012

OLYMPIC SOLIDARITYOLYMPIC REVIEW61What was it like growing up in the Cook Islands?I was actually born in New Zealand as my father leftthe Cook Islands to go to university. My family regularlytravels back to the Cooks as my grandmother andmany aunts, uncles and cousins all live there, either inRarotonga or Aitutaki -the two main islands. I love thesea, snorkelling, the lagoon and the coconut palms.The people are so friendly and family is what reallymatters, so I am lucky to live between the twocountries and have a blend of both cultures. How did you start canoeing?My brother started at school when he was12 and I just followed along. My school wasvery supportive of a large group of girls getting into the sport, which also helped.How has the Olympic Solidarity programme helped you?It has made it possible for me to keep paddling andcompeting, striving towards my goal of taking part in the Olympic Games. Without this support I wouldnot be able to combine study and paddling. I amtaking a year off university next year to train full-time in preparation for the Games.What do you use the funding for?The funding goes towards the costs of my coach,gym membership and expenses, travelling to trainingand racing. I have been to Europe twice this year for World Cups and World Championships.Who do you train with?In Dunedin, where I am studying, we have formed atraining group with New Zealand team member ShaunHiggins, and my brother Bryden and sister Jane whoare very supportive. My coach Aaron Osborne and I use the internet to review my progress and gettogether for white water sessions when we can. What does your training programme consist of?My training programme is written by Aaron. I usuallydo two training sessions per day and it changesaround a lot depending on what phase of training Iam in and when races are. Usually I do three-weekblocks of the same format followed by one week withmore rest. Because I live in Dunedin I don't haveregular access to a white water course, otherwisethis would make up a lot of my programme. Instead,I have to do mostly flatwater training and if it is toocold I use the kayaking ergo at my gym, along withcardio sessions and weight training. In winter we tryto mix it up and my coach gives me the option ofswimming and biking as well.How do you combine training with your studies?It's pretty tough. I have been learning to balancethem for such a long time that now I seem to keepmore on top of things. However, my course is ?INTERVIEWELLA NICHOLASTHIS AMBITIOUS CANOE ATHLETE HAS LONDON 2012 FIRMLY IN HER SIGHTSAS SHE AIMS TO BECOME ONLY THE SIXTH WOMAN FROM THE COOKISLANDS TO COMPETE IN AN OLYMPIC GAMES