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Following a spring season of personal bests, a talented sprint kayaker and sport scholar from Solent University, Southampton, has been selected to race for Great Britain in the ICF Junior and U23 Canoe Sprint World Championships in Bulgaria this summer.

19th June 2024
Sport and fitnessHomepage - News - Standard

20-year-old Xavier Hinves, a BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise student at Solent from Southampton, was first selected for the national team at the European Championships after placing first in the U23 K2 100m, and second in the U23 K2 500m, U23 K1 500m, and the U23 K1 at UK Paddle’s April regatta.

Now, Xavier prepares to head to Bulgaria for the World Championships, taking place 17-21 July 2024, racing in the k2 500m and the k4 500m.

The second-year BSc Sport and Exercise student started paddling when he was five, after his dad, himself a keen kayaker, built Xavier a boat to use.

Commenting on this year’s successes Xavier says, “My placings for the April regatta are the best that I have achieved since I became an under-23 back in 2022. I am feeling well prepared and excited for the challenge to race the best kayakers in the world in July.”

Balancing studies and a sporting career can be a challenge, but the University’s sport scholar programme is making a real difference for student-athletes like Xavier. He says:

“The program has really helped me in lots of ways. The funding has allowed me to purchase new equipment, which keeps me on top of my game. It also means that I don’t have to work and can focus on training and university studies. Being able to access lectures online also helps me fit my university work around my training schedule, which can be difficult with tide changes.”

Sport scholars at Solent are supported by Commonwealth Games two times gold-medallist, Kelly Simm. She says:

"It has been great to see Xav go from strength to strength in his sport while balancing his studies so well this year. He is a fantastic ambassador for the University, and everyone is really proud of his achievements. We all can't wait to see what the rest of the year has in store for him.”

Solent’s sport scholarships offer a support package for talented student-athletes throughout their studies. Find out more about performance sport at Solent here.