When they tried a kayaking skills camp last year, twins Gwen and Charlie Storry were only looking for a summer activity. What they did not realize was how the sport would resonate with them. Fast forward a year later and the twins are now heavily involved in kayaking, participating in different competitions and looking to see how far they can go with the sport. 

The Storry family moved to Merritt in 2021, when father Jeremy purchased the city’s Canadian Tire store.

“They started (kayaking) in the summer of 2021 as a new sport to try out,” said Jeremy Storry. “They really liked it so my wife has just been bringing them to more and more training and events.” 

 Storry recalls the twins falling in love with kayaking after first trying a skills camp. They joined the Kamloops Canoe and Kayak Club soon after and had competed in this year’s BC Summer Games, as well as the Pacific Cup, held in Maple Ridge, B.C., on September 11 and 12.

“Kayaking is different than a lot of other more common sports,” said Charlie Storry. “You compete against yourself and other clubs. Some of the races you have other people in your boat, so you need to have very good concentration to stay in sync with your team. I like challenging myself and seeing myself progress every week.”

The 13-year old siblings are multi-sport athletes playing sports such as volleyball, lacrosse, soccer, and hockey. 

“Competing in kayaking is very different from other sports I play,” said Gwen Storry. “In paddling you know most of your competitors and make friends with them. So, at the Pacific Cup I knew some other competitors from the BC Summer Games.”

The KCKC U12 and U14 teams competed with teams across Western Canada and the Pacific Northwest. 

“Competing in Maple Ridge was a good experience and I had lots of fun with my team,” she added. 

The following results are from the recent Pacific Cup: 

Gwen Storry 

  • 3rd Novice K-1 200m 
  • 2nd U14 K-2 200m
  • 2nd U14 K-4 200m
  • 2nd U14 K-4 500m
  • 3rd Novice K-1 500m

Charlie Storry

  • 2nd Novice K-1 500m

“There are many things that these athletes need to learn at a young level: how to balance new boats, proper technique, how to work as a team in the boats and work to get results,” said KCKC head coach, Stanislav Marek. I’m proud of all these athletes that are learning to put all these things together and starting to see the results of their hard work.” 

While the Pacific Cup marks the end of the season for the twins, there is no off season for their improvement in the sport. 

“They’ve put a chin-up bar on one of the door frames of the house and now I always see them doing chin ups to increase their strength,” said Jeremy Storry. 

The twins now look to participate in KCKC’s winter training, and will be back on their boats in the spring season.