Hello I’m Kurts & here is my story…
How did you get into Canoe Slalom?
It’s a pretty interesting start. Me and my brother both signed up to try scuba diving in our local pool. And while we were doing the session my mum started to chat with other parents whose kids were doing the scuba diving course with us. That’s when my mum got information about Stafford and Stone Canoe Club (The best performing canoe club in the UK and a home club of the 2016 Olympic Gold Medalist Joe Clarke). I was then invited for a trial session, enjoyed it, and just kept paddling. So, if I wouldn’t have gone to the scuba diving session then I wouldn’t be doing what I do now.
What is your biggest achievement?
Last summer (2019) I made the GB Junior Team, and had the opportunity to race at the Junior World + European Championships! That’s all cool but you didn’t come here to learn about my athletic accomplishments. What I’m ten times more proud of is that at only 17 years of age I have already visited over 30 schools and inspired over 15,000 children all around Great Britain. And this is only the start. This is only the start of what I’m building.
How did you get to where you are?
I’ll do my best to keep it short… I came to the UK from Latvia when I was 10 years old with my brother and our single mum. I did not speak a word of English. 7 years later I am representing Great Britain at the Junior World Championships. It has been a very hard journey. The odds have always been against me. Many people wanted to see me fail. And numerous time I’ve wanted to quit. But one thing I knew for sure: I was willing to do whatever it takes. While all my friends could focus and put all their energy and focus into training, I had to worry about things such as “Can we afford to go to this competition?”. While all my competitors were nervous and stressed on the start line about their performance and result, I had to worry about things such as “Can we find a cheap place to stay tonight?” and “How much are the racing fees?”. So the real stress came from serious financial difficuties and trying to help my single mum who was working so incredibly hard to give me the opportunity to chase my dream. Whenever I get stressed about my results now, I keep things in perspective and rememember what real stress is. I could write a whole book about how I got to where I am now but it all comes down to just alot of hard work. I was simply willing to do “whatever it takes” to reach my goal regardless of my circumstances. That was my mentality back then. And it’s still the same today. No matter where you come from. No matter how old you are. No matter your circumstances. None of that matters as long as you’re willing to put in the work.
You are an athlete, motivation speaker, entertainer and content creator?
Yes I get it. It seems like I’m doing so many different things. But they all link back to the same thing and the same goal. My end goal is to show people and show the world that no matter where you come from with hard work and belief anything is possible. And if I want to do that I need to be able to communicate that message to every person. Some people absorb information through videos better. Some through listening. Some through one on one contact. I’m willing to do whatever it takes to deliver this message to the world.
What is your mission?
If you read the two question above already, I guess you already know the answer to this question. But to summarize it: my mission is to show the world and show people that no matter their circumstances, they can achieve anything through focus, belief, hard work and dedication. You might be asking yourself… who the hell is this guy to talk about success and hard work? Well, I proved to myself just that. I am a living example of what can be achieved with your own two hands and the work that you’re willing to put in, despite all the problems that life throws at you because life is simply not fair. And I am not trying to be a life coach or a guru. I want to stay away from all that self improvement stuff. I don’t have all the answers. In fact, I barely have any. All I’m here to do is share my story and my experiences. We are all on this journey together.