A FORMER Olympic canoe coach who is using his love of the water to raise awareness of climate change is enlisting the help of Boris Johnson to get current and former US Presidents – Joe Biden and Donald Trump – 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.

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 politicians, 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 latest letter to the Prime Minister, Mr Train said: "I believe with the events taking place in America you have a golden opportunity to change the course of world history, become a world statesman overnight, fulfil your dream of matching your hero Churchill and all for the cost of a phone call to the United States.

"Key to the success of this is that all the people and leaders of the United States are on board and in it for the many decades it will take to win the day for humanity. Whilst President Biden has said he will immediately recommit America to the Paris Climate Accord, President Trump with his mass of supporters are still in the picture and one of their key beliefs, spelt out by their leader is that climate change is a Chinese hoax.

"Some positive way must be found with swift and immediate action to bring President Trump and his passionate supporters on board. It may seem an Olympian and Churchillian task, but I believe in so doing, you will change the course of world history and match Churchill as a world statesman."

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.