Women’s Paddling Ambassadors, a hashtag, clothing, a Facebook group just for female paddlers...what’s that all about then? If paddlesport is for everyone, then why are British Canoeing making such a fuss about women?
Well, it all starts with boring statistics and figures. No, don’t leave yet...we aren’t going to quote them all here! We know you’d far rather be paddling than staring at a page of stats. Here’s a basic overview; there are more men paddling than there are women. There you have it, short and (for us) not so sweet.
Nope. We also want those women to get to where they want to be in paddlesport. That means creating a welcoming and supportive environment at every level within the sport. Research shows (don’t yawn at the back there) that women will hold back from presenting themselves for assessment far longer than men at the same paddling level.
It’s important to us that, if women want to move into coaching and leadership roles, they get there!
#ShePaddles is just one part of a bigger movement. Yes, we want to create the chatter on social media but we are also producing some tangible things to help everyone understand how they can make a difference. Such as this Engaging Women In Paddlesport document - there are stats and figures in this but we promise it’s an interesting read and has lots of great information too!
For the second year we’ve enlisted the help of ten inspiring ladies as Women’s Paddling Ambassadors. They were chosen for a range of reasons but mainly just for their full on passion for paddling! Our ambassadors are busy spreading the love in a range of disciplines and at all levels of the sport. We’re sure you want to know more, so you can read all about them here.
We also figured that the only way to get a movement moving was to give it space! So we created the Women’s Paddling Community on Facebook. An awesome group where almost 1000 female paddlers are sharing and supporting their paddling ideas and ambitions.
And...by popular demand
Driven and developed by conversations in the Women’s Paddling Community and on the ground, we have a brand new #ShePaddles clothing range in our online store. Check it out and grab your gear here.
You can! We want everyone to share their love of paddling, so feel free to use whichever hashtags sum that up for you. But...what would be equally as awesome is if you celebrate the amazing female paddlers in your life. #ShePaddles is definitely not ‘just for girls’! Join the movement and spread the #ShePaddles love!