London 2012 gold medallist opens new water sports centre
PUBLISHED: 16:03 28 August 2018 | UPDATED: 16:10 28 August 2018
An Olympic gold medallist officially unveiled the new Oulton Broad Water Sports Centre at an event at Nicholas Everitt Park.
Etienne Stott, who won gold in the C2 Canoe Slalom at the 2012 London Olympics, passed on top tips to youngsters aiming to match his achievements when he guest-coached a session on the summer schools programme on Wednesday, August 22.
He then gave a talk as part of a special “evening with” event at Waterlane Leisure Centre the same evening about his journey in sport.
Mr Stott said: “It is a great facility. There are lots of good people working here, you’ve got lots of equipment and a great location and people are very dedicated to making this work so I feel it is very positive and I really hope it will be successful.”
He added: “Teaching kids is amazing, I started off exactly like this when I was a kid. I started off in the Scouts in a centre probably not too dissimilar to this where we were messing around, having fun on a nice summer day like this.
“They are the kind of memories where love for the sport comes in and then bit by bit I got interested in competitions but for me this is where it all begins, getting people into it and getting people excited about being on the water.”
The event was a huge success with instructors and children alike enjoying rubbing shoulders with the world-beating canoeist.
Matt Stebbings, physical activity and health manager, said: “A big thank you to Etienne for officially re-opening Oulton Broad Water Sports Centre. The kids and instructors really enjoyed not only being coached by an Olympic gold medallist but also having the chance to meet, have photos, autographs and hold his medal.
“The ‘evening with’ was a huge success with people coming not only from a canoeing background but tennis, athletics, swimming, hockey and non-sports people too.
“People were inspired and there were plenty of enthusiastic questions throughout the night.
“Sentinel Leisure Trust’s vision for the site is to build on the partnerships we have already developed with the local clubs using the centre and in the area and create a successful water sports hub for the region.”