Olympic kayak athlete champion in Warwick today

Participants in last year's canoe and kayak sprint in Warwick.
Participants in last year's canoe and kayak sprint in Warwick.

Olympic Gold medallist Ed McKeever MBE is among some of the top athletes heading to Warwick to take part in a canoe and kayak event this weekend.

The Royal Leamington Spa Canoe Club (RLSCC) is welcoming around 100 children and adults from canoe clubs across the country to take part in its sprint event day - and they will also be joined by K2 Gold medallists Liam Heath and Jon Schofield and other GB athletes who have secured places in the Rio 2016 Olympics.

The event, taking place at St Nicholas Park tomorrow (Saturday October 3), will include kayak and canoe races, exhibition races, fun relay races, a 4km ‘mega marathon’ race, entertainers and a barbecue.

And although those who are new to canoeing and kayaking will not be able to get into the water on the day, the club is hoping they will come along to join in the fun and think about joining themselves.

RLSCC’s head coach Attila Herbent said: “We are trying to promote the sport to youngsters in the local area.

“Children taking part on the day will get to paddle with their idols, which is quite unusual - normally athletes don’t have the time for this sort of thing.

“This event is centred around the fun element of paddling and around recruiting more people to the sport.”

At last year’s event, the 4km event saw 60 people paddle it out together in the River Avon. Attila said: “It was carnage! With that many people at the starting line, it’s pretty tough, but it’s really fun to watch. We want to make it a bit of a spectacle and do something a bit different.”

The club is keen to recruit new members - in particular children aged between eight and 12 and girls, who are currently in the minority at the club.

Anyone who is interested in joining can go along to the club in Adelaide Road, Leamington, on a Saturday morning from 9am to 10am to chat to members and see what they do.

Tomorrow’s event takes place from 10am to 5pm, with the ‘mega marathon’ starting at 4.30pm. Entry for spectators is free.

To find out more about the club, visit rlscc.com