1. How and when did you first get into kayaking and why? What made you think I’m going to give this a try?
I first got into kayaking in the year 2010. A friend of mine was telling me about this kayaking club and it interested me; So my Mum signed me and my Dad up on a course, where I was taught flat water kayaking. I enjoyed the sport but wanted to learn more. Because of this I started paddling down white-water rivers in Wales, this is called river running.
2. When did you realise you had potential in this sport at such a young age, what was the defining moment?
Whilst I was in Wales I was spotted by people who knew about freestyle kayaking, at this point I didn’t even know that it existed. They gave me details about a club, which specialises in this type of kayaking, called the Burners. I contacted them and found myself trying it out for myself; at that point my coach Jacko saw potential in me at a young age (13 years old) and took me on.
3. How often do you paddle and where in the UK is your favourite venue to Paddle?
I paddle as often as I can; however this is dependent on season due to the fact that the amount of rain determines what rapids are in. On average I paddle between 1-5 times every two weeks. I have to travel a lot to the venue where I train. My favourite place to paddle in the UK is Hurley Weir in Henley.
4. Do you have a lucky charm or a ritual that you use/do before a competition?
I don’t have a lucky charm or a particular ritual before competition except from a paddle the night before a competition or in the morning, a few hours before a competition and use it as a practice run.
5. How do you maintain your paddle fitness?
Besides from kayak training as often as possible I go to the gym and work on my core muscles using the mats. I also do other sports (not at a high level) which keeps my fitness up.
6. After developing your love of paddling in UK waters, what did you think of the Rivers in Ottawa, Canada?
I love paddling the UK waters, although Ottawa was a completely different experience. It was like nothing I had paddled before; first off the rapids were a lot bigger in size and faster. I was already familiar with some of the water there seen as I had been to Ottawa before back in 2013 for two weeks (however I wasn’t very good at the time so I didn’t get to take advantage of the rapids) Ottawa is so far the best place I have ever paddled and is my favourite place. The scenery was incredible as well, to be surrounded in wildlife and huge open spaces was amazing!
7. What goes through your mind when you are in the river about to do the most important manoeuvre of the championship?
I’m constantly telling myself not to rush when I’m about to do a move on the wave and to only do it when I know it will work so I don’t waste any time or energy.
8. What do you get up to when you aren’t paddling or training?
I’m studying A-levels at D’overbroecks in Oxfordshire; I study Physical Education, Maths, Economics and Geography. This takes up the majority of my time although I also horse ride and then just go out with my friends.
9. What’s the next event/project you’re excited for?
The Europeans in Germany
10. How does it feel to be the only female in Europe to win the Freestyle Championships?
Absolutely amazing, so thrilled with my results and I’m looking forward to the next World Championships in Brazil in 2017, if I qualify of course.