Will President Putin sign Paddle for Life

First published in News

A FORMER British Olympic canoe coach is appealing to the leader of Russia to lead the way in a revolution to solve the climate change crisis.

Over the past two decades David Train, from Fladbury, near Evesham, has been developing a set of sporting and cultural tools to bring all the world on board to work together to solve the our planet's greatest problems, starting with the climate change problem.

Mr Train came up with the idea of the Chinese dragon boat paddles, the brand for the project, at the Barcelona Olympics.

People of all ages make the paddle from a wooden sword and shield, paint on their individual designs and inspire others to sign it to pledge their support to beating the global climate change problem.

To get things started in any country, leaders sign a Paddle for Life, to be used as a trophy for paddle sport and yachting events. International leaders have taken part so far, including Boris Johnson, Mayor of London.

Now Mr Train, inspired again by the Olympics, this time the games in Sochi, is trying to secure the signature of President Vladimir Putin by writing to him and also contacting Chelsea Football Club owner Roman Abramovich.

He said: "The Sochi Olympics made me realise that I had made a grave mistake in not including Russia in my thoughts and so, in December last year, I wrote to President Putin asking him to become involved by presenting three Paddles for Life, already signed by the leaders of the European Union, to President Obama at the Sochi G8, as a first step in inspiring President Xi to sign a Paddle for Life for China."

Mr Train then hopes the paddles, as signed by the presidents, will be used as prizes in individual yacht races, leading to a world wide competition.

He added: "The great beauty of this is that it can all be done this year. At very little cost and with no new organisation we could have started, springing from the Sochi Olympics, a new water based festival for our planet, where all can take part."

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