Olympic gold medallist Etienne Stott believes a crop of promising young canoeists are ready and waiting to build on the success of the Britain’s current senior squad.
The 39-year-old earned his place in the sporting pantheon with C2 gold at London 2012 alongside Tim Baillie, beating compatriots David Florence and Richard Hounslow to top spot on the home podium.
Now Stott is sharing his expertise with the next generation as a coach on the England National Talent Squad, working under Ian Raspin.
And 25-year-old Ryan Westley’s C1 silver at the World Championships last weekend signals a changing of the guard in a team that has claimed 17 medals this season.
Stott claims youngsters Daisy Cooil, Jake Brown, David Patterson and Sam Maingay are among those equipped to spearhead the sport in the future.
“Great Britain canoeing is doing superbly well at the moment and there is a generation coming through to supplement that progress,” said Stott, speaking a white-water rafting day run by Caesar’s Entertainment in aid of SportsAid.
“The system is producing a great many young prospects and behind those performing at senior level, they are hungry and capable.
“They’re chomping at the bit to take the place of the top canoeists and ready when the scene opens up for them.
“I have close relationship with the youngsters and work to help them through their race days and GB selection trials early in the year.”
Uttoxeter-born teenager Maingay is among Britain’s brightest sporting prospects receiving financial support from SportsAid.
The charity, whose alumni include Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill and Sir Mo Farah, provide promising youngsters with funding and recognition early on in their careers.
Among their backers are Caesars Entertainment, whose employees took SportsAid athletes under their wing for a rip-roaring day of rafting.
Stott was on hand to provide guidance for teams tasked with building and racing rafts, before careering down the same Lee Valley course he claimed gold on in 2012.
While the white-water venue brought back floods of memories for Stott, he’s keen to highlight the importance of the sport looking to the future.
“Sport is all about looking forward – people know what happened to me and the story of Team GB,” he added.
“For me, sport is about recognising what has happened and taking the best bits of that, repurposing it for the good of the people doing it at the moment.
“They find their own way and that will always have echoes of the athletes that came before us, just as it did for me.”
Caesars Entertainment EMEA is helping young athletes at SportsAid by giving them recognition and financial support during the critical formative years of their careers. For more information, please visit www.caesars.co.uk