Why Am I Here?
I would like to help more people have safe, enjoyable paddling experiences on the water.
After working in the outdoor industry for a number of years, I came to realise that there are a real lack of females and young people canoeing recreationally, so my passion is to be a positive ambassador for canoeing. Canoeing can be what you make it: relaxing, exhilarating or transportation to amazing places. It just takes a little bit of know-how and practice to feel confident in ‘the tank’. Once you unlock this it can feel like you are dancing on the water.
As a teenager I played a lot of the traditional sports, it wasn’t until I went away with my school on a residential to an outdoor education centre in Llangollen that I was introduced to the outdoors and paddling. Little did I know back then, Llangollen is a paddling hub.
Do you know the wave?
Going away with school had such a profound effect on me, so I wanted to be able to help other children get into the outdoors too. Moreover, I thought they had a brilliant job teaching at the centre! So, from the age of 15 I set about getting the experience and qualifications required to teach outdoor education by volunteering, working a range of jobs and getting out on my own adventures.
I studied BSc Sport Science with Outdoor Activities at Bangor University and, after graduating and some travelling, became a qualified teacher in Cornwall. Between university I worked for Worcestershire Council’s oec, gaining valuable experience on their lake delivering intro sessions and playing on Symonds Yat (in an RPM & canoe), working towards my Three Star Award. I later worked in Devon in a personalised learning service and got to paddle on the Dart regularly and climb at the Dewerstone 😊 During this time I loved paddling with Paignton Canoe Club and achieved my Level two Coach Award. I then moved to Cornwall and worked towards a PGCE, when I wasn't planning lessons, I could often be found in the waves, trying to stay upright in my kayak and not run over the surfers.
By this point I had gained enough quals and experience to go for my dream job back at Bryntysilio, Llangollen. I worked with novices on the Llangollen Canal as part of their week of outdoor education and introduced them to outdoor adventure. I lived in town and enjoyed being able to paddle home on the Dee when I could. It was during this time that I started to really get into my canoeing and was spurred on by Leo Hoare’s (Getafix) positive feedback whilst training towards my 4 Star Award (now Canoe Leader). The following years, pre-pandemic (this does seem to be a measure of time nowadays), I worked at an outdoor education centre in Bala, Rhos y Gwalia. Here I got to work on the brilliant Bala Lake every week, which was a great way of honing my open water skills in preparation for my Open Water Coach Award and later my WW Coach Award.
What Do I Do Now?
Currently, I work for a college part time as an Outdoor Adventure Lecturer, I deliver the practical side of the course and really enjoy supporting the students through their development in paddlesports, hill walking and rock climbing.
Last year (2022), I also entered the freelance world. The variety that this has brought to my life has been fantastic and it compliments my work with the college. Through this freelance work, I have supported local schools on the delivery of their D of E programmes, which has allowed me to introduce even more young people to the joys of canoeing; become an ambassador for Venture Canoes by Pyranha; supported the first #SHEPADDLES festival up at Plas y Brenin and become a training provider for the British Canoeing, which is great to deliver as it will help to introduce even more people into the sport.
What I Can Offer:
I am now building my own business 'SKapades', shaping and developing my own opportunities, after working for other companies for the last 17 years. I can provide the following:
- Bespoke guided trips for you, your friends and your family.
- Introductory sessions that include coaching to improve confidence and knowledge of how to stay safe on the water.
- Developmental coaching to turn your basic skills into a solid foundation, developing your strokes to become more effective and efficient.
- Developing your tactical knowledge and skills for managing the psychological side of paddling.
- British Canoeing Personal Performance Awards.
- British Canoeing Paddlesports Safety and rescue Course.
- British Canoeing Paddlesport Instructor Award and SUP Instructor Award.
- British Canoeing Paddlesport Leader Award.
BSc Sport Science with Outdoor Activities
Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PE)
British Canoeing Level 3 Coach
- Advanced Open Water Canoe Leader
- Open Water Canoe Coach
- White Water Canoe Coach
- White Water Kayak Leader
- Sheltered Water Paddleboard and Kayak Coach
- Enhanced DBS check
- Outdoor focused first aid qualification
Summer Mountain Leader - Rock Climbing Instructor - Mountain Bike Leader - Minibus and Trailer licence
My Kit That Keeps Me Warm and Dry
Pyranha Ion for courses such as the paddlesport safety and rescue course and Paddlesport Instructor.
Jobe Duna 11.6
NRS Crux drysuit
NRS expedition weight Union Suit
Helmet- Predator Lee for when the sun is shining as it fits my tiny head
Ainsworth carbon fibre paddle