That's according to Olympic medallist Richard Hounslow, who believes the likes of seasoned warriors David Florence and Fiona Pennie provide invaluable assistance and experience for the young starlets to lean on and stay grounded.

Britain enjoyed their best-ever haul at the recent European Canoe Slalom Championships in Prague, with golds for Ryan Westley in the C1 and Mallory Franklin, Kim Woods and Bethan Forrow in the C1 team.

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Franklin and Adam Burgess also notched C1 individual silvers, while Alexandria athlete Pennie won bronze in the K1. Florence, from Aberdeen, had the chance to make it an all-British podium in the C1, but missed out with Westley and Burgess first and second.

However, the young pretenders need the likes of Florence and Pennie to help shape their enduring futures in the sport, said Harrow's Hounslow, who was speaking during RBC Ride for the Kids, a charity bike ride from London to Bruges organised by Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) in aid of charity SportsAid, of which he is an ambassador.

"It's really important for experience – we're very lucky within British sport with the funding that we have but there's definitely been a noticeable shift towards some athletes being a bit spoilt," said Hounslow, who won Olympic C2 silver with Florence in 2012 and 2016.

"Whereas when you have these old, grounded athletes, I really think they lead the way and guide the youngsters to be a bit more switched on.

"And then it will be their turn – make sure their eyes are on the prize, they're working hard and not getting cocky and it's important to have that.

"It's very easy to be blasé and not train properly – you've got to keep pushing all the time. Every sport, every country, everyone's moving on all the time so much."

Hounslow, who now coaches Florence after retiring from the sport in January 2017, revealed coaches from other nations had approached the British Canoeing set-up in Czech Republic to find out why Britain have such strength in depth.

And the 36-year-old is confident the only way is up if they keep doing what they do best.

"We've just had our most successful ever European Championships – things are looking good for us," added the 36-year-old.

"It would have been amazing to get first, second and third in the C1, but it just shows how strong that category is.

"I had coaches from other nations come up to me and say, ‘we want to know what you guys are doing'.

"Then you have Fiona Pennie - the old hand, I was a junior with her and she's still knocking out the medals. It's fantastic."

Hounslow was part of a team of 47 riders, including Paralympic 800m champion Danny Crates and Olympic silver medallist rower Jess Eddie, who raised more than £60,000 for SportsAid through RBC Ride for the Kids.

"It was really good fun – all the guys were pushing each other along. It's been 21 years since I received a grant from SportsAid and back then when you're quite young, sport is expensive and you rely on the bank of mum and dad," said Hounslow.

"RBC Ride for the Kids is such a fantastic event – helping those young athletes not just to dream about achieving their goals but to actually have the opportunity to go out there and live their dreams – I was lucky enough to do that and it all started from the SportsAid foundation."

Sportsbeat 2018

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