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Successful hat trick of regional Slalom Inspires events

International medallist Eilidh Gibson created Slalom Inspires last year as a way of inspiring more women and girls to get involved in Canoe Slalom. 

Slalom Inspires Hpp 1

All pictures courtesy of Kim Jones

The purpose of Slalom Inspires is to provide a safe and friendly environment for female paddlers to thrive.

Having run a successful national event in November, this season she has taken it out to the regions, with a weekend in Wales at Plas Y Brenin in April, braved Storm Hannah for an English edition at Holme Pierrepont and most recently a Scottish event at Grandtully.

We caught up with Eilidh after the English event to see how the second year of the campaign was going.

“This year has been amazing again,” she said. “The whole thing, the girls who have been taking part, their willingness to get involved and to see their transformations over the weekend is just brilliant.”

The event was open to girls in the lower slalom divisions and very mixed ability. 

“The sessions were all planned to be empowering for the paddlers and encouraging them to have belief in their abilities.

“The progress among the paddlers was amazing, progressing off the flat water and onto the white water, with new confidence that they could push themselves out of their comfort zone and realising that they could do it.

“For some of the paddlers it was life-changing, which is exactly what we want to get out of these events.

“Huge thanks to Kim Jones for taking all the photographs and our brilliant army of volunteers who have enabled us to deliver such successful events,” she said. “In total over the three events we had 55 paddlers and 50 different volunteers, some of who volunteered more than once.” 

The events have included paddling components as well as a mix of team building activities such as tubing, scavenger hunts, inspiring workshops and keynote speakers.

Testimonials from some of the participants:

"My daughter had a brilliant time and enjoyed both the workshops and the activities  As a parent I found it very informative and helpful being able to talk to the other parents."

"Thanks so much for organising such a great weekend. My daughter really enjoyed it and hasn't stopped talking about it since. As a parent I was so pleased to see the girls having such a powerful program to support them and to meet other parents who shared their experiences."

"Thank you to you all for organising such an inspiring weekend and for being the most amazing role models to these girls. My daughter had an awesome time and cannot stop talking about it. She cannot wait for the next one."