Beth Gill: 'We wouldn’t put sewage on our streets – why would we do that in the rivers?'

Jan 23, 09:00 PM

Beth Gill is one of Britain’s – and the world’s – leading canoeists. In 2022 she became C1 short course Marathon World Champion and she’s hoping to qualify for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games in the C2 500m Sprint.

Remember, while there’s been women’s kayak events, women’s canoeing events only first arrived at the Olympics for Tokyo 2020.

But there’s much more to Beth than just her sport as she has become a passionate advocate for raising awareness over the pollution in our rivers and waterways, as well as their ecological importance.

The situation is serious. To put it into perspective, Beth says that in training its almost expected by some that you will get sickness bugs along the way. That can’t be acceptable.

In this episode of SportSpiel, Beth explains why she is so passionate about this issue, as well as how it inspired her choice to take up a university course in this area.

She also explains what individuals can do to try and make a difference in their daily lives, with current practices needing to change.

There’s also time to delve into Beth’s journey in canoeing, which hasn’t always been smooth sailing.

She transitioned to the sport in 2014 via the Girls4Gold programme – with her first experience in a canoe not getting off to the best start – but she also recalls being dropped from her canoeing programme five years ago, something that has taught her valuable lessons and helped her get back to where she is today.

Now, the Olympic Games in Paris are firmly in her sights.


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Image: With thanks to British Canoeing and Vekassy (ICF)

Additional thanks to the Athlete Media Group for helping to organise this interview

Music: Otis McDonald