Mustang preteen excels at kayak racing
By Van Mitchell
Marcel Pradella knew at an early age that his youngest daughter Shelby had athletic talent.
That talent was on display earlier this month as 11-year-old Shelby medaled at the Wascana West Canada Cup Canoe/Kayak Sprint races at Lake Wascana in Saskatchewan, Canada.
“I have three daughters, and she is the youngest,” he said. “I knew right away that she had something athletically. She did very well (at the Canada event). Out of a possible five medals, she has three silver and one gold. She was the only 11 year-old competing against 13 and 14 year-olds.”
Shelby Pradella is the daughter of Marcel and Kirston Pradella of Mustang. She will be a sixth-grader this fall at Canyon Ridge Intermediate in Mustang.
Pradella trains with Team OKC Riversport at Chesapeake Boathouse. She trains alongside some of the U.S. Junior National Team and Coach Aasim Saleh is her coach as well as the U.S. Junior national team coach.
Marcel Pradella said his daughter has shown a real talent for kayak racing.
“She has only been doing kayaking for a year-and-a-half,” he said. “He (Saleh) told us it takes good athletes three to six months to get into a racing kayak. Shelby took to kayak racing in three weeks.”
Pradella said his daughter will continue to race in events including one in Georgia in August, to gain experience.
“It is a marathon, and not a sprint to get her involved at a bigger level,” he said.
Pradella and his wife moved to Oklahoma from Chicago to raise their family here.
“My wife and I are very proud, and feel extremely blessed,” he said. “We are very appreciative of the community. This was the best move we could have made.”