Last weekend I competed in my last race of my international career. After 29 years in the beautiful sport of Canoe Slalom, it’s time to say an emotional farewell to the international stage.
I’ve been very lucky to share this journey with some amazing people both on and off the water. I will certainly miss the special community around the world that we have within the sport but I know that it won’t be goodbye forever.
My senior years since 2001 have seen me compete in 52 World Cup races, 15 European Championships, and last weekend I made it through to my 9th final at my 12th World Championships.
Some career highlights include:
Overall Junior World Cup Champion 2000
European Champion 2013
European Championship Bronze 2012, 2018
European Team Champions 2016, 2021
World Championship Silver 2006, 2014
World Team Champions 2019, 2021
Beijing 2008 and Rio 2016 Olympian
13x British Ranking Series Champion
18x K1W Scottish Champion (and a few more in C1W!)
I am so grateful to all those who have supported me over the years. If I were to list you all this post would fill your feed, but you know who you are if you’ve ever coached me repeating the same whitewater move over and over again in any temperature ranging from -13°C to 42°C, shouted at me on a kayak ergo, watched me lift yet another weight, delved deep into my brain to find things I didn’t know existed, prodded my muscles to make them feel better (or not!), collated thousands of splits of my paddling and produced numerous pretty graphs for me to pour over, told me just how many calories are in my bowl of porridge in the morning or suffered all the highs and lows of training alongside me.
Also thanks to PeakUK for all the pieces of kit I’ve paddled in for the last 17 years whilst I’ve been a Peak family member, to Vajda Canoes and Kayaks for producing the carbon machines I paddled in for the last 10 years and to G’Power Paddles for the blades that have propelled me along for 13 years.
I wouldn’t have achieved what I have for as long as I have without the support of UK Sport and The National Lottery, British Canoeing and Sportscotland.
The biggest thank you that will never be big enough goes to my Mum and to my late Dad. I would never have made it onto the biggest stage without the unlimited mileage taxi service up and down the country from Scotland when I was a kid, the bank of Mum and Dad, and the gentle pushes in the right direction. I only wish that Dad could have seen these final couple of years.
The last thank you goes to Lynsey who has stood right by me, holding me up and being the most patient person I know! I’m very much looking forward to being able to go on lots of amazing adventures with you now!
For now, I’m looking forward to taking a long time to enjoy life at a slightly slower pace (if that’s possible for me!) and catch up on so many things that have been sacrificed for so long. But I’ll definitely not be far away from a river!
Catch you on the other side!