BRADFORD on Avon sprint canoe star Hannah Brown has been sticking her oar in this week as she helps cast an eye over the next generation of British paddling talent.
The 23-year-old, who won gold in the K1 sprint discipline at last year’s World Wildwater Championships, is a canoeing ambassador for the Girls4Gold campaign, which aims to identify potential international talent.
Bradford on Avon Canoe Club member Brown has been helping oversee trials and testing at London’s Copper Box Arena.
“It’s been pretty interesting to have a look at lots of different people and it’s weird to think that in four or five years time, you could be paddling alongside some of these guys,” she said.
“I didn’t come into the sport through this kind of programme but another one of the ambassadors, Angela Hannah, did come into it that way so they get to see both sides of it.
“I think it’s a worthwhile thing to do because some potential world champions might not have ever stepped foot in a canoe.”
Despite already clinching a world title in a non-Olympic discipline, Brown is still a relative novice in elite level flatwater racing.
She competed in her first-ever canoe sprint world championships last summer and will take the next step in her quest to compete at the Rio 2016 Olympics when she visits the proposed Team GB base for the games during a training camp in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, at the end of the month.
Brown said: “We fly out on January 31 for three weeks out there and I’m really looking forward to it – a bit of work on the water, in the sunshine, will be nice.
“I’m going to be concentrating on flatwater a lot more this year but that doesn’t mean that I won’t be doing wildwater events. We’ll just have to see what happens.
“But it’s important to try and get things right because next year will be important as that’s when qualification for Rio happens.
“I have been training pretty hard for the last few weeks but I have had a bit of a rib stress injury, so it’s all been about managing that. It’s not too bad but I just have to be careful with it.”
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