How I Started
Around the age of 10, my mum (while she was marathon training) and I used to run and cycle around Lee valley white water centre, watching the slalom athletes train for the 2012 Olympics. I told her how I’d love, one day, to give it a try and she encouraged me to go speak to one of the coaches, who informed us of a club that paddles on a Wednesday night. Fast forward a few weeks and I had joined Lee Valley Paddlesports club for my first experience in a slalom kayak on the lake. A couple of months later the coach was unable to continue, so I joined a group of girls who played games and enjoyed flat water activities, although I was determined to get on the white water. My first experience of white-water paddling came from a group that needed an extra paddler on their raft. I rafted with them regularly for a few months until they began training to compete in the upcoming world championships, for which I was a couple of years too young. Persistent in my desire to paddle on the course, I returned to the club, spoke to the coaches, and was told to come back in a month (after the Christmas break) and they would have someone for me. As expected, come January, a coach was available, who happened to be an avid freestyler (a discipline I previously hadn’t thought much of). After learning to roll and getting assessed to paddle unsupervised on the lee valley watercourse, I began my obsession with freestyle kayaking.
My Greatest Achievement
My greatest achievement in freestyle kayaking would have to be the first time I made the GB team. Although I have won a few open competitions and was on the podium at the British championships, the excitement following my first successful selections brought emotions of accomplishment and yet anticipation for the next year. As a junior girl, having barely made a mark in the competitive world, and scoring zero in my first selections, making the team was an incredible experience. Coming off the water after my 45-second rides, I felt strong. I could feel the improvement following the past few months of training and looking at score sheets with my name in that spot was an insane relief.
My Greatest Challenge
My greatest challenge came in the months following my parents' separation in 2018. My dad moved to Oxford, leaving my mum to look after me and my 3 sisters. As the only kayaker in the family and dependant on lifts to get to training and competitions, it became both practically and financially challenging to get on the water. Wednesdays became a hassle, as my mum juggled taking me to paddle and my sisters to their various activities. Desperate to progress and train for selections, as soon as I was 16, I started working at the kayak shop at Lee Valley. This gave me free access to the water and the opportunity to afford better equipment while learning more about the sport through customer communication.
Outside of kayaking, I love to sing and play the guitar, as well as running Parkruns and recently I’ve started bouldering in various indoor locations around North London. Some of my favourite foods include apples and Percy pigs, although, my Achilles heel is carrot cake.
My Future goals
My future goals include making the team for both C1 and K1 disciplines, competing at the next few world championships, and getting on the podium one day. I’d love to put down a competition ride that I am proud of. A ride where I score the moves, I know I can. However, a goal without a plan is just a wish! So, I plan to keep training, continue learning and grow as an athlete in this ever-expanding sport.