'I was sore for weeks' - Kiwi canoe slalom competitor hoping to follow in Tom Walsh's footsteps

Having initially given up canoe slalom to focus on his building apprenticeship, young Kiwi Jack Dangen has found a way to balance working and competing at the highest level.

Dangen, 19, walked away from the sport two years ago, looking to solidify the foundations for his future with an apprenticeship.

"I wanted to get a full time job and kind of get a career behind me, put more time into my apprenticeship and stuff like that," Dangen told 1 NEWS.

However he has recently returned to the water, drawing inspiration from friend and Olympic silver medallist Luuka Jones. 

Dangen managed to return to the water recently with a Tom Walsh-like effort to balance his job and competition, even though there were speed bumps getting back into the sport he loves.

World shot put champion Walsh famously manages to go back and forth between his competition and his day job as a builder.

Dangen's return was initially a struggle, however he did manage to power through and get back to competing.

"It was terrible, I was sore for weeks but it was so hard physically each session was so hard."

"I had to ease into it."

Finishing seventh at the recent Oceania Champs to book his spot in the New Zealand team, Dangen now joins the likes of Jones and Mike Dawson.

To make things easier, his boss' children are also in the national squad, conceivably making it easier to balance work and sport in the future.

Jack Dangen is balancing competing with a building apprenticeship. Source: 1 NEWS