Another Lap on TomataCascada Tomata, 60ft Waterall, Rio Alseseca, Mexico, 2013 Photo Margaret Williams Born in the UK in December 1989, I started kayaking at age eleven, through my local Scout group. I was hooked after my first go and wanted to improve and introduce others to the fun and enjoyment that I got from it. By the age of sixteen I qualified as a Kayak Coach and started Introducing new people into the sport. It wasn’t until I was eighteen and began working at WhiteWater: The Canoe Centre, that kayaking really consumed my life. I soon started paddling with work colleagues, and good friends MIke and Pete Scutt. These guys were happy to show me the Whitewater ropes and each time we paddled I learned something new. It wasn’t long before I was paddling every evening after 6th Form college and as soon as I finished 6th Form I started work as a Kayak Instructor, working and paddling every day, this included slalom training, and playboating.
After graduating 6th Form College in 2008 I began studying for my Degree in Outdoor Activities Management, at University of Derby, Buxton. This course has given me plenty of time to get out and paddle in a range of different boats, although I started out in a playboat, I quickly got to grips with a Creek boat and an Open Canoe.
2009 was my first try at competitive paddling, and I haven’t been able to stop since, Slalom, Freestyle and Extreme racing, with each competition motivating me to do more and try harder. In 2010 I bought a Squirt boat and after five months of hard training I got selected to represent Great Britain at the 2011 ICF Freestyle World Championships. This event was one of the best things I have ever done and I ended up finishing eighth in the world at squirt kayaking.
Since graduating University (with a 2:1 no less), I have been adventuring all over the world, I have paddled Class 5 whitewater on 5 continents. I have paddled in France, Germany, Austria, Uganda, Chile, USA, Canada, New Zealand, Ecuador, Colombia and Mexico where I was part of a team which clocked up a number of First Descents. These first descents were cataloged as part of a web TV series for Red Bull called First Descents: Michoacan.
Most recently I have been sharing my love of whitewater kayaking on the Ottawa river, Canada, where I am currently Director of Ottawa Kayak School. Since 2015 I have become a Permanent Resident in Canada and qualified to compete for Canada at the 2017 Freestyle Kayak World Championships in San Juan, Argentina.
Capturing the beauty of the wild destinations I visit through the lens of my camera has become something I am very passionate about. But from there I have also grown to love capturing special moments in people lives too.
I am not sure where exactly my life will go next, but what I do know is that my lifestyle is now, and will be in the future, purely based around kayaking and a little photography.