Sporting spirit

SIR, — We should applaud not only those athletes who have made it to Beijing to compete but remember the thousands of members of clubs up and down the country who have helped youngsters to develop their potential. I would like to draw attention to water s

SIR, - We should applaud not only those athletes who have made it to Beijing to compete but remember the thousands of members of clubs up and down the country who have helped youngsters to develop their potential.

I would like to draw attention to water sports in particular where we have excelled. Just look at what possibilities are opened up if you can learn to swim. Several of our own club athletes have recently returned from the World Championships in Edmonton, Canada, winning gold in the Women's and Mens Under-21 competitions. They didn't benefit from the funding the Olympic athletes receive. They did it through hard work and a lot of personal sacrifice.

We should encourage our youngsters to take part in sport and provide better facilities for them. They are not all going to be Steve Redgraves or Chris Hoys but the camaraderie that you get from team activities is invaluable.

RON TAYLOR,

St Albans Canoe Club.