Gig Harbor Canoe and Kayak Race Team emphasizing youth development

Alan Anderson is back as the coach of the Gig Harbor Canoe and Kayak Race Team, and those around the team couldn’t be happier to have the program’s founder back on the water.

“I’m having a good time,” Anderson said. “I’m enjoying the challenge.”

Anderson was brought back after GHCKRT parted ways with head coach Holm Schmidt in December 2016, leaving the club with a head coaching vacancy. Naturally, the board turned to Anderson.

“This is a bit of rebuild,” Anderson said. “The rebuilding part is working on the foundation of the team. The foundation of the team is young kids. That’s what had unfortunately been ignored. So I started bringing some new kids into it.”

Surrounded by a team of assistant coaches alongside him, Anderson has embraced being back with the team.

“We have a great coaching staff here, so I’m not carrying a very big load anymore,” Anderson said. “We’ve got all the bases covered.”

That includes 17-year-old coach Rylee Price, who has been tasked with the development side of the team, working with the beginners. Working with first-time paddlers has been a great experience for Price.

“It’s one of my favorite parts of this job — the first time they get on the water,” she said. “It’s so exciting. You can just see the joy on their…

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