Stevenage teenager Ben Moreham in Great Britain stand-up paddle squad
A teenager from Stevenage has been picked to represent Britain in the world stand-up paddle championships in China.
Ben Moreham, formerly of Hertford Road, now lives in Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands. He spent two years at Barnwell School in Stevenage.
Ben, 17, is one of two under-18 members of the Great Britain team, which has 12 riders in all. He has qualified for the national squad after impressing at qualifiers in Poole, Dorset.
The International Surfing Association’s World Stand-Up and Paddleboard Championships are to be held at Riyue Bay, off Wanning in southern China, from November 23 to December 2.
Ben – grandson of two Stevenage schoolteachers, including former Trotts Hill head Eric Moreham – uses a 12ft 6in stand-up paddle board in 7km technical races.
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The 17-year-old was born in the UK but has spent most of his childhood in the Canary Islands, having moved out with his family in 2003. After a stint back in the UK from 2011 to March 2014, they moved to Fuerteventura.
It was only at that time Ben, who played rugby for Datchworth, took up stand-up paddle.
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His mum Alex told the Comet: “From the first time he got on the board, he seemed to have a natural talent for it.
“He started classes, and the instructor came up to me and said how strong he was for a 13-year-old. Ben put it down to the rugby training he had when we lived in the UK.”
Ben started to compete almost immediately and became under-14 Canarian and Spanish champion in 2015. Last year, at Maspalomas, he became under-18 European technical champion.
“Ben has always wanted to compete for Great Britain and is really hoping that at some point the discipline will become an Olympic sport,” said Alex.
“I think that is really his dream, to compete in the Olympics for Team GB one day.”
She added: “When he received the confirmation that he had been selected, he couldn’t believe it.
“It has been his dream to compete for Great Britain, and he intends to do his utmost to bring it home.”
The team is totally self-funded, receiving no government support. It is aiming to raise £10,000 ahead of the championships in China.
If you’d like to donate money to support Ben and the team, see justgiving.com/crowdfunding/david-ferguson-2.