GLL Sport Foundation athletes Kimberley Woods and Joe Clarke struck gold at the recent 2023 ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships.

The Lee Valley White Water Centre, managed by GLL's charitable social enterprise and worker-owned cooperative, operating under the community-brand Better, serves as headquarters for British Canoeing's High Performance Centre, acting as the hub for the British Canoe Slalom squad and all UK Sport-funded slalom Podium athletes.

And home advantage paid off as GB won five gold, two silvers and a bronze across 10 events at the Championships.

Woods and Mallory Franklin secured a sensational British one-two in front of an ecstatic home crowd, having combined forces to claim the women's canoe team gold.

Franklin, who won the individual world title in 2017 and Olympic silver at Tokyo 2021, set a ferocious pace in the final to clock 108.05 seconds and clinch gold as Woods took silver.

And Woods also secured gold in the kayak cross after an impressive display, saying: "I can’t believe I can call myself a world champion. It took me a little while [to get going].

"After the time trial, it was like ‘OK let’s build through round and round’. It was really tough for the first couple of rounds and the final, again, it was ‘don’t come last’.

“To be coming out of the start pool in second, I believed in myself a lot. It is my super strength - being adaptable and instinctive and not trying to anticipate what other people are doing.

"It is about staying in my A game all the way down the course and I’ve shown that this year. To have four girls get through the time trial shows the strength we've got, especially on our home course.”

Rio 2016 Olympic champion Clarke etched his name into the history books after proving completely untouchable on home waters.

Clarke won his first-ever individual gold medal in the men's K1 event at a World Championships, a remarkable achievement in his illustrious career to complement his gold in kayak cross.

“It is hard to put into words really - it’s like a dream weekend," he said.

"I got my first title in the K1 and this is the third time I've done it in the kayak cross. I am a triple world champion in kayak cross - 2021, 2022 and 2023 - it’s fantastic.

“There was only one more medal up for grabs and that was the team event. We gave that a good shot and I feel like on another occasion we would have got a medal in that as well. For me - it’s been perfect."

The inaugural London 2012 legacy venue, Lee Valley White Water Centre is renowned as one of the premier white water courses globally. It’s Olympic legacy is evident through it’s positive impact on the sport and the athletes who train there.

Shaun Dawson, chief executive at Lee Valley Regional Park Authority, added: “It was a privilege to once again host the ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships at Lee Valley White Water Centre. Serving as the training ground for Team GB, our venue witnessed their astounding performance, undoubtedly strengthened by the advantage of training on our world renowned white water course.

"Hearing several athletes at the event reminisce about how their introduction to paddling was sparked by a visit to our venue during the London 2012 Games was truly gratifying. This exemplifies the transformative power of Olympic legacy in action and our aspiration is to ignite the same flame in others and inspire the next generation of athletes to paddle their way to greatness.”

The GLL Sport Foundation is the largest independent athlete award programme in the UK, providing a £1.2 million fund comprising financial bursaries, training and access memberships, physiotherapy, and more to athletes. This support aims to assist talented athletes in preparing and competing at national and international competitions.

Over the past 15 years, the foundation has consistently been at the forefront of developing young athletic talent, having awarded an impressive £14 million in 25,000 awards since 2008.

Olympic stars such as Tom Daley and Matty Lee, as well as numerous aspiring stars, have also had support.

Anyone wanting to follow in the footsteps of the British Canoeing stars can dive right into the water at Lee Valley White Water Centre with exciting activities and gift vouchers.

Visit to buy online and secure your spot on the white water!