Beginners Waka Ama Lesson
So you have heard about waka ama and you want to give it a go...YAY!
Who's this Vesna chick
She is one of the fastest women in the waka ama world
Team and One on One Coaching
Take yourself or your team to the next level in your waka ama skills
New Zealander Vesna Aroha Radonich is a world class champion Waka Ama paddler (outrigger canoe racing).
After being told she was un-coachable, she developed a 'can do' determination that has taken her to the top of her sport nationally and internationally.
Vesna was born hearing impaired but no one knew until she was five, it was assumed she had ADHD.
She struggled with self-esteem, she contemplated suicide. There were addictions and depression.
"I was quite addicted to drugs and alcohol, so that included heroin and cocaine and ecstasy because of my low self-esteem, I felt the drugs gave me confidence."
A friend in Sydney recommended she try waka ama - it turned out to be a perfect fit.
"I fell in love with it because I said to the coach 'I can't hear - I can't wear my hearing aids when I'm paddling, is that a problem?', they said 'no, that's fine'. That's the reason I loved it, here was a person who didn't see my disability or stop me participating in the sport."
She says it gave her an adrenalin rush to match any she'd had from drugs. And as her confidence grew, so did her talent.
She then moved to Tahiti, in 2010, to learn from the best paddlers.
By 2012 she was a world champion, the first New Zealand woman to win the elite title.
"My advice is just go for it, believe in yourself and know that you can."