Lee Valley White Water Centre
Local netball star fast tracked to World Champion
Bethan Forrow was a talented netball player when British Canoeing coaches visited her school as part of a London 2012 Olympic Legacy Talent Identification Programme in 2013.
Despite never having been in a canoe, she demonstrated all the right attributes to succeed in the sport and was selected for the programme along with 16 other youngsters.
Bethan began training at Lee Valley White Water Centre, less than two miles from her family home in Cheshunt, and with intensive coaching she has successfully fast tracked through the sport to compete in both the C1 and K1 classes on the international stage.
At age 14, Bethan became the programme’s first athlete - and the first Lee Valley Paddlesports Club member - to qualify for a British team, after winning the junior selection trial in women’s C1.
Bethan went on to qualify for the senior team in C1 when she was just 16, and made her senior debut at the 2018 European Championships in Prague where she went on to win Gold in the women’s C1 Team event and finished ninth in the C1 individual. She finished the season with a World Championship C1 team Gold.
In 2021 Bethan was crowned Under 23 C1 World Champion and was an Under 23 C1 Silver medallist at the 2021 Canoe Slalom European Championships.
“To be able to say that I was Under 23 World Champion is amazing and I couldn’t have done that without the British Canoeing programme and Lee Valley White Water Centre,” says Bethan who has her sights set on Paris 2024 and winning her first Olympic medal. “It’s a privilege to be able to have this kind of access. Some people have made their careers here, you walk around the centre and their faces are all over the walls, it’s such a drive to see what they managed to achieve here.”