A TEENAGE kayaker from Southend has been selected to represent the country in the European and World Rafting Championships.

Lillie Hogan, 15, of Chalkwell Avenue, Southend, has been selected along with eight other women to represent the UK in July and November this year for the competitions.

The Belfairs Academy student took up white water rafting after the London 2012 Olympics, and became famous in the area last year when she kayaked 100 miles along the fast-flowing River Wye in Wales to raise money for St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London.

Lillie along with the other members of the Lee Valley Devils team, will make up a GB1 and GB2 squad, and are members of Lee Valley Paddlesports Club, which is based at Lee Valley White Water Centre, and have been training eagerly to be selected and to be able to take part in these prestigious competitions.

They will represent the under 19s in the R4 category (for a raft of four people) and have been selected as part of team GB for the next two years.

They will be heading out to Slovakia for the European Championships and to Argentina for the World Championships.

Lillie’s mother Natalie Mitchell said the news would be “life-changing” for her daughter.

She said: “It’s phenomenal news. It’s been quite a long road to get here, and they have a longer one to go with what they have ahead of them.

“She’s over the moon of course. “e’re going to be holding some fundraising events and activities further down the line so we can help them get there.” She added: “We really want to push to have rafting included in the games, because so many people do it but it’s not given much attention.

“We want to make it more known.”

Visit www.leevalleypaddlesportsclub.org.