Fiona Pennie

Great Britain Canoe Slalom Athlete | World Championship Medallist | European Champion 2013 | Beijing 2008 and Rio 2016 Olympian | On Road to Tokyo 2020

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The end of an era! With the exciting news that coach Mark Ratcliffe is taking up the reigns as the new Head Coach, so too came the sad news that my 4.5 years under his watchful eye must come to an end.

I can't really come to express how much his direction over the last Olympic cycle has improved my paddling. He picked me up from disaster following my 2012 Olympic selection and took me onto becoming the 2013 European Champion, a silver medallist at the 2014 World Championships and a 6th in the Olympic final in 2016. There were a few rock bottom times too, but then they had to happen to learn for the good times!

I leave the training group with many, many good memories from over the years training alongside Joe Clarke, Tommy Brady and recently Ryan Westley.

Now Ryan and Joe, you won't have my tidy tendencies to deal with, but one of you will now have to stay awake to navigate abroad! You'll have to remember boat straps too! Hope you enjoy not having your constant grammar and spell checker Mark! I guess I'll still be around for the "Fiiiii......darling.....about my boat.....well, it's broken.."

Onwards now to new adventures with a new coach and new training buddies, all of whom are younger than me!

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Ready for action! This weekend, I kick start my 20th season in the British Premier Division and my 11th in the No.1 bib! The Grandtully Premier race 13 years ago looked like this - 21 racers! Only 2 of us from back then will be racing this weekend with an added 53 new faces!

📷: Brett Harkness

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