I have a Soul Main Squeeze playboat and my beloved iRocker All Round 10’6”paddleboard.
(As a ‘borrow’ I have use of a Pyranha Burn and as a Paddlesports Instructor I have access to a range of craft - canoes, kayaks, paddleboards and rafts etc.)
Favourite Item of Equipment and why?:
Without a doubt; my GoPro! My GoPro to me is as vital as a paddle is to paddling! I love to record memories in both photo and film and be creative with them. I started off having just the camera and a couple of accessories which has now developed to needing a bag to carry everything I own for it, from harnesses and mounts, to tripods and my
gimbal! I’m currently teaching myself how to use Adobe Premiere Pro which I’m loving!
Steven Spielberg, move aside!
Best achievement in life:
I would normally say having the drive and determination to get back into paddlesport
after suffering my brain injury but for this one I’d definitely say my role as the British
Canoeing #ShePaddles Ambassador for Canoe Wales. I was appointed in May 2020 after
being selected from over 20 shortlisted entries as the first ever women's paddling
Ambassador for Wales following their successful funding bid from Sport Wales.
At our first ever video meeting with Gayle Penn, Development Officer and Jen Rigby
Membership and Communications Officer (right in the middle of the first lockdown!), I
asked them how they wanted me to be perceived and what they would like me to do.
They said “Clare, if you have the ideas then we’ll make them happen). This gave me so
much freedom and support to create and develop the role, actions and events towards
increasing female participation, retention and development in paddlesport (as less than
3 in 10 paddlers were female). Since then a few key things achieved from my ideas have
been; setting up the #ShePaddles Cymru Facebook group which now has over 1000
members, developed the idea and process to go ‘On Tour’ around Wales providing
taster sessions to women and girls and conclude it with a women's paddling expedition.
These events alone led to over 250 women and girls trying paddlesport, mostly for the
first time and gaining their British Canoeing Paddle Start Awards. Since then, over half
of them have become Canoe Wales full ‘On the Water’ members and the majority of
them have since invested in their own equipment and are now paddling regularly! The
expedition was a fantastic experience too. The Facebook group has become a vibrant,
thriving community of ladies who share tips and ideas, share knowledge, post events,
promote discussion and arrange informal paddle meets all over Wales.
I also write a weekly paddling related article that gets shared far and wide online which
I designed to provide snapshots into the paddling world for all paddlers. I’ve covered
topics such as winter paddling, the waterways licence, the Clear Access Clear Waters
campaign, mindfulness, safety and equipment, paddling disciplines, and of course,
Covid-19 paddling. I’m due to shortly write a few more articles for some published
magazines such as The Paddler and SUP Mag UK aside from the ones that have already
To top this all off, the icing on the cake was being awarded the Alan Baker Canoe Wales
Volunteer of the Year Award 2020!
This was all most definitely the best achievement of my life to date and shall take some
This is where you tell the story of your brand. Iconic brands such as Disney and Coca-Cola have long realized the power of their brand story to build a connection with their audience. Companies like Apple possess brand stories that are legendary in their status.
Favourite place to paddle:
My love will always be for my local river, the River Teifi. At 76 miles long with a variety of grades it has something for everybody. My favourite section is from Llechryd to
Gwbert as an all day paddle and takes in the sights of the beautiful Teifi Gorge, the Teifi Marshes Nature Reserve, the moorings and the mouth of the estuary towards the sea. There’s plenty of wildlife to be seen on this route including badgers, foxes, otters, kingfishers, cormorants, mallards and Canadian geese. I can paddle this section or a slightly shorter section between Llechryd and Cardigan every single day but have a totally different experience and adventure every day! It’s truly mesmerising!
● Paddling obviously!
● Photography and Videography
● Storms & lightening
● Rude/inconsiderate people
● Any kind of violence and/or discrimination
● Seeing hurt animals
● Wrongly fitted toilet rolls - the paper goes over not under!
● Middle lane hoggers
● Romcoms! Give me an action or thriller movie any time!