World champion canoeist Etienne Stott speaks out about the wonders of canoeing
In an interview on May 13, 2014 with journalist Edward Greenland of OutdoorsMagic, Olympic canoeing gold medalist Etienne Stott offers five reasons to go canoeing. Stott and his teammate Tim Baillie became Britain's first canoe slalom Olympic champions by winning the C2 (Men’s Canoe Double) event at London 2012.
Part of Stott’s reason to participate in an interview with Greenland and encourage paddlers of all levels and abilities to “Go Canoeing” is that May 2104 is National Watersports Month in the United Kingdom. More specifically, from May 24 to June 1 is National Go Canoeing Week. In addition, it does not hurt that Stott is a national hero.
The British Government awarded Stott and Tim Baillie Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE). “This is awarded for a significant achievement or outstanding service to the community. An MBE is also awarded for local ‘hands-on’ service which stands out as an example to other people.”
The first of Stott’s reasons to Go Canoeing is that “Canoeing is great fun and inexpensive.” According to Stott 'Canoeing is a really fun sport; it’s just a great feeling to be on the water. You can tap into the power of nature and that feeling of power going through your body is brilliant, it’s something you can’t explain until you try it.'
In addition, 'It really isn’t that expensive, people normally think you need lots of equipment but your club can lend you it until you know what you want to get. There’s also tons and tons of second-hand gear out there that you can get your hands on.’
2. Canoeing is a very diverse sport
'Canoeing is a really diverse sport with all sorts of different branches to get involved with. There are branches on the white water and on the flat water with competitive disciplines, long disciplines, short disciplines, team events and many more.’
3. Anyone can get involved in canoeing
'Everyone’s welcome. All ages and all abilities can get on the water to enjoy themselves and develop a real interest and buzz for the sport,' according to Stott.
4. Easy to find a local canoe club
'It’s very easy to find a club. You just need to go on the internet, search your local area and there will be a club not too far from you.’
5. Canoeing has a great community feel
'Probably the most important reason to get into canoeing is to enjoy the great community spirit it has. It’s a great sport because it’s out in nature and you're surrounded by lots of like-minded people,' Etienne said.