Hundreds of children have paddled for the first time during free activities at the Canoe Slalom World Championships, at Lee Valley White Water Centre.
British Canoeing has been using the world champs to shape positive environmental and social change.
One of the initiatives is to introduce local children to paddlesports, which former sports minister Tracey Crouch has praised.
The MP for Chatham and Aylesford, was at Lee Valley to try a spot of kayaking with British Canoeing's Ben Seal.
“It’s wonderful to see kids out on the water and particularly children from diverse backgrounds," she said.
“I genuinely believe there’s a sport out there for everyone. It’s just that they don’t necessarily know what that sport is.
“When we talk about how we need to improve equality, diversity and inclusion in sport, it isn’t just about BME (Black and Minority Ethnic), which is a very important part of it… There's also a socio-economic aspect here.
“You want to show those from lower socio-economic or lower income backgrounds that there are things that they can be doing in their local communities."
Manor Park Primary Academy, in Sutton, South London, is one of the schools that have been involved in activities at the centre.
Vice president Rebecca Middleton, said the sessions could be the start of a lifelong passion.
“Having the opportunity to do this [kayaking] is amazing," she said.
"Where our school is based they wouldn’t be able to do this on a regular basis.
“It’s an opportunity they’ve never had, so it’s really exciting.
"They might have a flare for it they don’t know about.
“The staff have been amazing, really helpful, really knowledgeable.”