9th April 2019

Zac Allin: Team GB Slalom

Written by Jack Nicholl

From training as a young athlete at Plas y Brenin to placing for a second time on Team GB Slalom, we asked Zac Allin about his kayaking journey.


As a young athlete Zac Allin came to Plas y Brenin to get some paddle training, since then he has gone on to great heights, qualifying for the Team GB slalom team for the second time just recently. He tells us a bit about his journey towards success, and how that early advice given at Plas y Brenin by his instructor Pete Catterall have served him throughout his slalom career.

  • Congratulations on placing on the Team GB under 23 slalom team! How are you feeling?

Hi! It’s a great feeling to be back on the team for 2019, after picking up a neck injury last year, which took me out for the 2018 season I didn’t think I was going to be able to make the comeback; so managing to get back fit again has made making the team this year so much more of an achievement than my previous years on the team!

  • How did you get into kayaking in the first place?

My parents actually met on a kayaking expedition in India so it’s in my blood! But when I was around 10 years old I was spotted by my first coach Darren Cresser and thrown into a slalom boat and the rest is history!

  • You came to PYB early in your development as a kayaker – how do you think training with Plas y Brenin has influenced your journey to where you are now?

I came to PYB a long time ago now but even that one time made a massive difference in my development. I came as a young athlete just entering the sport really, having just been promoted to division 1; at Plas y Brenin I was given advice by instructor Pete Catterall which to this day I live by! Not just techniques on the water but also training and living advice which, as a young up and coming athlete, was exactly what I needed at the time. Pete since then has been watching my development and dropping tips from time to time which I can’t thank him enough for.

  • What advice would you give to other young people who have their sights set on becoming a member of Team GB?

The one piece of advice I would give anyone is to never stop enjoying the sport. Everyone starts sport because they love it, and there have been times when I have lost sight of this. Last year and the year before I lost the love, but was lucky enough to have the support and resilience needed to regain that love, which enabled me to make the team again. If you start to lose the love, take a step back for a bit and if you look hard enough, you will realise why you decided to start in the first place.

  • What’s the ultimate dream for your kayaking career?

That’s a hard one! In the past I would say something like the Olympics, or to win gold at the Worlds and Euros, which I suppose is still true; but after my last few years like I said previously it’s to keep enjoying what I do and try to put my best performances down at the international events. I’m sure that if I manage to do that, the rest will fall in line!


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