Three young female paddlers from Manvers Waterfront Boat Club recently attended the Slalom Inspires 2019 event. Grace Black, Hannah Lancaster and Pola Tomasik were among fifty aspiring female slalom paddlers who took to the water at Lee Valley White Water Centre over the weekend of 9/10th November.
The event was created by 2017 World C1 team gold medallist Eilidh Gibson to address the gender imbalance of slalom in the UK while also inspiring those already in the sport to nurture their talents and fall in love with the sport.
Having had her Tokyo Olympic dreams shattered by a career threatening shoulder injury, 24-year-old Eilidh channelled her passion for the sport into Slalom Inspires which, in the past 12 months, has seen more than 200 girls from across the country take part in her events.
Speaking on the event, Eilidh said: “Slalom Inspires comes from my love of the sport and how much the sport has changed my life and the opportunities it has given me which I wouldn’t have had beforehand.
“For me it’s all about the love for canoeing and if the girls want to be Olympic athletes then great and we’ll support them. But if they just want to do it for the love of canoeing then great we’ll support them to do exactly that too, to stay in the sport and have fun.
"This weekend we’ve done a hot dogs session where the girls are absolutely beaming and having fun on the water. We’ve done tubing, canyoning, white water rafting as well as all the canoeing sessions which really are just about having fun.”
Manvers Waterfront Boat Club is a thriving multi-sport club based at Manvers Lake in South Yorkshire.