Paddlesports instructor and She Paddles Ambassador Lisa Dickinson, has been shortlisted for the Sunday Times Grassroots Sportswoman of the Year award.
Lisa has been leading a British Canoeing initiative to train female paddlers to become instructors and leaders.
“Being nominated and then shortlisted is so humbling and overwhelming,” said Lisa.
“I’ve had such a roller-coaster time in my own personal journey in sport, I just wanted to try and help others in the same position so we can keep more women in sport and hopefully attract more too.
“I never would have dreamed that I'd be doing that back in 2016, let alone someone wanting to nominate me and shortlist me for an award!”
The winner of the Grassroots Sportswoman of the Year is decided by the public. The vote will go live later in October.
British Canoeing nominated Lisa following the incredible journey she has been on.
In 2016, she couldn’t swim, she was scared of water and had never been in a kayak. The two things she hated the most were water and the cold.
There were some days she would be sick at the side of a river when she was starting out.
She now kayaks on white water for fun and is a qualified paddlesports instructor and white water leader.
Lisa became a She Paddles Ambassador, in 2021. It’s a movement that is helping to close the gap between men and women and girls participation in the paddlesport community.
Becoming an ambassador enabled her to share her passion for paddlesport with other women.
Lisa’s leadership, her calm and patient personality, has helped them overcome similar challenges she has experienced.
She is always helping and coaching other women to overcome their fears and boost their confidence.
Lisa also uses paddling as a way of overcoming loneliness, building a community and improving mental health.
She is also passionate about driving diversity and inclusion within her hobby and within her working life.
This year, Lisa, who is a member of Lee Valley Paddlesports Club, trained four women to become instructors themselves, before the start of the World Slalom Championships at Lee Valley.
Each day of the World Champs they were all running their own sessions, teaching children how to paddle for the first time.