And Cook Islands Canoeing Association (Olympic programme) representative Roly Rolleston said they were excited to welcome Jane to the Cook Islands canoe slalom team in a bid to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
She joins the team alongside her siblings, double Olympian and 2016 Olympic flagbearer Ella Nicholas and 2016 Olympian Bryden Nicholas.
Jane competes in both kayak and canoe disciplines, the latter having been added to the Olympic programme in 2020 for the first time creating a second category for women's qualification.
She represented New Zealand in canoe slalom for the past 10 years in both K1 and C1.
Jane is also a six-time national champion and won 20 medals at national level. In 2016, she was a long list athlete for New Zealand to the Rio Olympics.
During this time she has traveled to Europe, United Kingdom, Australia and Brazil to compete at both World Cups and World Championships.
Her final race of 2018 was the World Championships in Rio de Janeiro where she placed 43rd in K1W.
She ended the 2018 season ranked second in New Zealand to 2016 silver medalist Luuka Jones.
Jane, with the support of CISNOC, applied to the International Olympic Committee for special approval to change her national representation. This was approved last month at the executive board meeting in Lausanne.
“Although I have been raised and educated in New Zealand and am currently working there as a doctor, the Cook Islands is my home. I have a hectic work and training schedule but I return as often as possible,” Jane said.
“I'm extremely proud to have the opportunity to represent the Cook Islands and will work
my hardest to qualify a place at Tokyo.”
Jane’s families are from Nikao on her grandfather’s side (Marama Nicholas) and Aitutaki on her grandmother Tutai Nicholas’ side. Her father is Cook Islander Dr Robert Nicholas.
At the end of May, both Jane and Ella are travelling to London and then on to Europe to compete in the World Cup series.
Olympic qualification is at the World Champs in September held in La Seu D’urgell, Spain, the venue for the 1992 Canoe Slalom Olympics.
There are exciting times ahead for the Cook Islands Canoe Slalom team and we wish them luck.