Pushing the boat out to raise awareness - The Evesham Observer

Pushing the boat out to raise awareness

Evesham Editorial 18th Feb, 2018   0

A FORMER Olympic canoe coach’s bid to raise awareness of climate change has inspired him to call for local MPs to help support his bid to launch the Spirit of Wychavon bell boat.

Pinvin campaigner David Train wants to raise the profile of the local area with the launch of a new bell boat alongside the Spirit of Tees Valley and the Climate Revolution vessel he also hopes to launch in Evesham before taking it to his homeland in the north east.

It’s all part of his long-running campaign which has called on world leaders to sign his Paddle for Life – a wooden canoe paddle which he is hoping to use as a symbol to spread his message.

Former Prime Ministers Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and David Cameron have all signed his paddle, as well as other European leaders, and he is looking to get Theresa May, Jeremy Corbyn, President Macron from France and President Xi from China to get behind his campaign.

Mr Train spent 12 years as a Great Britain Olympic canoe coach and helped the teams who competed at the Los Angeles, Seoul, Barcelona and Atlanta games between 1984 and 1996.

He was responsible for designing the first bell boat, which helps to encourage people to take up water sports with its focus on large groups and team work.

He hopes to keep Wychavon in the public eye and aims to have both boats on the shores of France in time to celebrate the 2024 Olympic Games being held in Paris.

“All it needs is for our Worcestershire MPs to meet, David Lidington, Boris Johnson etc and inspire them to launch the bell boat in Evesham.

“It is government policy to do all that it can to focus the attention of the country on the North and the Midlands.

Once this bell boat is launched here I will take it to Tees Valley, where it will be used to promote Tees Valley, but of course I also wish to promote Wychavon and the West Midlands.

“I believe we should also be sending a bell boat, the “Spirit of Wychavon and the Climate Revolution” to Paris, alongside the Tees Valley boat.

“On stern of each boat are the names of individuals who are part of our history and the key one for Wychavon is Simon de Montfort, the father of parliamentary democracy.

“Perhaps the next greatest parliamentarian was Churchill, who saved parliamentary democracy by his stand in 1940. The King banned Churchill from being part of the D-Day landings.

“It seems to me that it would be a great story and topical for Wychavon if we managed to use the “Spirit of Churchill” to land on the Normandy beaches as we set out to save civilisation from its greatest threat since the Second World War.”


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