I am the founder of ‘Learn to Paddle‘ and a full time paddle sports coach. We can take you on a fun family paddle experience, or a 20km kayak along the coast, and most things in between!
I am also a mother to 3 sons, and at latest count, have 4 grandchildren!
I have always had a love of the outdoors, but found that having Crohn’s disease did not allow me to really embrace it in early life, so I followed a successful career in Criminal law.
Sadly, I had a really challenging time with my health, and it deteriorated to the point of needing emergency surgery and me being a wheelchair user for a long period of time.
As I recovered, I started to revisit my early love of outdoor life, and began walking for pleasure, and then running, to the point where I couldn’t sit still! Sadly, my joints would not keep up with my new found zest for life, It was time to re evaluate!
It was my partner Mark, who suggested Kayaking as a way to enjoy the outdoors, and give my knees a well deserved rest, and I have been addicted ever since. When not coaching with my fantastic clients, we are often found on the local rivers and canals, or up camping in the lakes. In fact Mark now jokes that our fleet of boats would make some small countries jealous (although we have not fitted any anti aircraft guns yet!)
I love being on water. Whether its rivers, lakes, canals or the sea. I love watching the water and how it reacts to movements. Bubbling over rocks and swirling into eddies. Watching the swell form on the sea then start to break in rows. Taking people out on the water for the very first time. Oh wow. You see all their emotions. Nervous reactions, fear, anxiety, strength to have a go, courage to do something different, comfort zones being stretched and shaped into new comfort zones. Inquisitive minds, reflective thoughts, understanding the water, starting to relax, starting to smile, watching the shoulders, the arms, the face physically change and relax. Seeing the look of awe on their face when they realise what they have just accomplished, eyes opening wide with exhilaration, excitement, happiness. Then beaming smiles, laughter and just wow! All of that from one experience and I get to help create it, shape it, support it, encourage it, develop it. To see someone’s raw emotions first hand. What can be better than that? Seriously. And all of the above you can experience whether you are working with a 5 year old or an 85 year old. What a pleasure and a privilege to just be present when things like that happen.
I have been asked about my favourite paddle locations I have visited, and so far I would say Pembrokeshire, or the west coast of Scotland. Have a look online at some of the images of the stunning scenery! As for bucket list places, I don’t have anywhere specific really, I just love to paddle, whether it’s in a kayak, an open canoe or stand up paddle boarding. I’m happy paddling past the remnants of Industrial Britain on a canal, down a lazy river or along the coast of East Yorkshire, I don’t mind.
Some of the qualifications I hold are.
- Sheltered Water Coach Level 2
- Sea Kayak Level 3
- REC level 3 Outdoor First Aid
- Coastal Navigation and Trip Planning
- Mental Health First Aid
- Whitewater Safety and Rescue
- Foundation Safety and Rescue
- Enhanced DBS
- Child Protection.
Thanks for reading, and I hope to see you on the water soon.