OLYMPIC bronze medallist Helen Reeves has given an emphatic seal of approval to the plans for the white water canoe course to be built in Waltham Cross for the 2012 London Games.
She said: "It's going to have a massive impact on the sport in this country.
"We're quite a long way behind other countries with our facilities such as France, Germany, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
"The new course here will be really important for the development of the sport and will give us great depth in talent."
Reeves, who has now retired, won a bronze medal at the 2004 Athens Olympics in the K1 kayak singles class. She grew up in Hampshire but with no top class facilities close to hand spent most of her early years perfecting her technique on the Thames weir. Having a top facility in Waltham Cross will, she said, be a huge boost to budding canoeists based in the south of England.
"Getting more people involved is crucial to the development of our paddlers.
"It will be brilliant to have something like this to help people get involved."