Anderson wants canoeing to grow

04 April 2012 / 17:26

Team GB performance director John Anderson wants to use the Olympic canoe slalom venue at Lee Valley as a catalyst to grow the country's culture in the sport.

The 55-year-old from Ayr has been to the last three Olympics as part of Team GB but feels the Games in London offer the sport a chance to appeal to new people when the slalom medals are decided on the Lee Valley course between July 29 and August 2.

"In my opinion this is the best canoe slalom white water facility in the world. We have been training here since January 2011 and it is technically more challenging than any other course in the UK," Anderson told Press Association Sport.

"It will be an iconic venue for the Games and for our athletes to compete at home in front of a British public, we will put on a great show."

But it is important that locations such as Lee Valley White Water Centre do not stagnate following the Games and with the 2015 World Championships already confirmed for the Hertfordshire venue Anderson wants to see the centre continue to build the sport in Britain.

He said: "(It was) Absolutely crucial to get the 2015 World Championships on the back of the London Games and really ensures that we will have a vibrant canoeing community here."

With Lee Valley replacing an older facility in Nottingham as the leading British venue for canoe slalom Anderson is keen to source talent from the local area in the hunt for future Olympians.

He said: "(I want to) Provide opportunities for youngsters to get into canoe slalom and then build up a canoe club here and eventually a pathway into our squad."

The Olympics selection event for Team GB takes place next week and with only one boat entered into each class the squad will be significantly trimmed before the tournament begins.