Thursday, 3 June 2010


A world champion kayaker from Leeds is heading off to the biggest events of the year in luxury thanks to a unique sponsorship.

The deal with Volkswagen Van Centre (West Yorkshire) means Claire O’Hara from Meanwood is now able to concentrate on competing in the World Cup this weekend in Germany and European Championships in Austria later this month.

Volkswagen Van Centre (West Yorkshire) has specifically kitted out a new Transporter T-5 van, allowing enough room for Claire and two other GB team members to travel with all their equipment to the events.

There’s even enough room for a sleeping area for Claire to rest during the thousands of miles on the road.

The 28-year-old is completely self-funded, leaning heavily on her job as sports co-ordinator at Notre Dame College and sponsorships to allow her to compete in world events.

Claire said: “These two events are massive for me and without this sponsorship from Volkswagen Van Centre (West Yorkshire), I’d be really stuck. It would be similar to paddling my kayak without any paddles!

“This is the second year I’ve received help from the van centre and I hope to reward the generosity by bringing home at least one medal.”

Andrew Caygill, brand manager at Volkswagen Van Centre (West Yorkshire), said: “Claire is a fantastic ambassador for Yorkshire and Britain, so it was an easy decision to loan her the Transporter T-5 and help her compete in Germany and Austria.

“Everyone at the van centre wishes Claire well in her quest to become European Champion.”

Claire currently world champion in the ‘squirt boating’ category of kayaking and is hoping to add the European ‘freestyle’ title this month.

To find out how Claire gets on in the World Cup and European Championships go to her website

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