A FORMER Olympic canoe coach who is using his love of the water to raise awareness of climate change is hoping to get the new Prime Minister to back his campaign.

David Train, who was born in Stockton, is calling on world leaders to sign his Paddle for Life – a wooden canoe paddle which he is hoping to use a symbol to spread his message.

The Northern Echo:

Former Prime Ministers Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Theresa May have all signed his paddle, as well as Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, European leaders and numerous Tees Valley politician, and now he wants to get Boris Johnson to join the list.

The Prime Minister is no stranger to Mr Train's campaigns, having signed the Beijing Paddle for Life for China before the 2008 Olympics.

In his letter to Mr Johnson, Mr Train said: "Britain a brilliant opportunity to create a world story about we brought all on board to take part in the climate emergency by giving them the soft power tools to do the job.

"It is a story in which everyone in Britain can take part in creating. It is a story in which you can play the leading role by, against all odds and by the narrowest of margins, inspiring President Trump to take part.

"The Chinese president is now on board the climate emergency, as are all the leaders of the other nations of our planet, apart from President Trump, who admires you and greatly admires the Queen. All is in place for you and President Trump, together, to do something truly great for the world."

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.

He is hoping his Paddle for Life project will be completed in time for the Paris Olympics in 2024, and as part of the project, he is hoping to create a regatta before every Olympics, and will promote the Tees Valley as the starting point for his revolution.

Mr Train is currently seeking permission from staff at Westminster Palace, Downing Street and Buckingham Palace to raise two sea signalling flags to raise awareness of climate change.