A WINCHESTER school boy is hoping to compete for a place on Great Britain’s junior European Championship kayaking team.

Noah Hazlewood, 15, has been kayaking since the age of nine, and has worked his way to the top to become the south’s highest ranked junior athlete in the kayak category.

The Henry Beaufort pupil has represented England in the Pan-Celtic Cup for several years, and paddles three boats types: individual kayak (K1), individual canoe (C1) and two-man canoe (C2).

To secure his places in the K1 and C2 categories for the GB junior team, the Shepperton Slalom Canoe Club member will be competing in three selection races this month, two in Scotland and one in Nottingham.

If he succeeds, it will mean a trip to Skopje in Macedonia for the European Junior Championships in July.

To help him achieve his goal, Winchester business Denplan have given Noah a top-specification kayak, as part of their Community Fund which supports charities, initiatives and worthy causes in the area.

Noah said: “I really appreciate the support I’ve received from Denplan in helping me to buy my new boat, and I’d like to thank my school for allowing days off for training and travel.

“Special thanks to my mum, dad and sister for their support and for driving me all round the country and standing in the freezing rain watching me train.

“2014 should be a tough but exciting year and I look forward to the challenges ahead in hopefully securing my place in the GB Junior team.”

Noah’s parents, Neil and Helen Hazlewood, also believe their son is capable of fixing his place on the team.

“We’re confident he can do it,” they said.

“He’s stepping up an age-band this year so the competition will be tough but he is looking forward to the challenge ahead of him.”