Thursday, February 27th, 2014
Kenneth Suddon Fraser was born in 1954 in the Haig Maternity Home. He was, and continues to be, an incredible canoeist and kayaker having won many medals for Scotland. He won the Roxburgh Canoe Club Slalom Championships at Hornshole when he was just 16. He was first selected for the Scottish White Water team in 1976 and was Scottish White Water Champion 8 times in a row, the first time in 1980. He was selected for the British White Water team in 1982 and again in 1986. He owns 14 boats, a ‘boat for all occasions’. If he hadn’t pursued the sport of canoeing, he thinks he would have probably have taken up mountaineering.
I asked Kenneth if Hawick High School inspired him and he said. ‘ I enjoyed my time at Hawick High School and I suppose I was an average pupil. I did not excel in sport or any team games and I would have benefited a lot if canoe/kayak coaching had been available during school ‘games’ period. However that was a long time ago and there is a lot of support for youngsters participating in ‘minority sports’ nowadays.I left to become an apprentice motor mechanic when I was 16.’
Kenneth Fraser still continues to paddle and he can often be seen in his canoe at the Spetch. He is currently coaching a few men who are interested in sea kayaking and he hopes to go to Canada this year to visit an old kayaking colleague.
by Niamh Rafferty