Sam Silver Opticians

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I am a voluntary coach and based at Royal Canoe Club, Teddington.
I am coach to Radka Felingerova women's representative in the British Team for the world Championships in Wild Water Racing. I am also Coach to Olivia Churchill Junior World Champion 2007 Wild Water Racing Team Classic event and Bronze Medallist individual in Sprint and Classic Disciplines. Other Athletes under my tuition are Steve Dixon Flat water sprint Olympic Discipline aged 16 identified as Olympic Hopeful and sponsored under this scheme, Stuart Hastings 19, flat water sprint Olympic Discipline. At this last weekends Olympic selection regatta he finished 4th in the 1000m k1 Final just 8 sec's behind the current world Champion and British Olympic Representative Dr Tim Brabants.

Radka has a sight defect which was causing her to miss critical lines in her racing and training. The defect was minor .75 but still at the speed she travels on the rapids good eyesight is crucial to recognise the wave formations and small rocks that are hidden in the water and only detectable by the resultant wave and white water formations they cause. With lenses supplied by The Eye Store Teddington she is no able to see more clearly and detect these crucial changes in the water. Her performances have improved and without them selection for the British team would have been far more difficult. The most important factor not to be missed is the need for the lenses to remain in, in white water conditions. During the selection event Radka rolled sideways and then head first down a rocky waterfall a grade three rapid . Completely submerged and upside down she recovered and the lenses were still in place allowing her to continue. She swam down the rapid got back in and finished the race.

She has also been given Nike lenses for bright sunlight conditions. The glare reflecting off the water in bright sunlight conditions can make seeing virtually impossible in head on low level sunlight conditions. These lenses stopped the glare sufficiently to allow her to train in these conditions and needless to say compete. It is impracticable to use sunglasses as when water droplets form on the lenses it makes vision almost impossible so coloured contact lenses in these circumstances are the only way forward. The are a valuable piece of equipment for the paddler in these high level standards and also for the recreational paddler as well.

David Kelly


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