Female Coach in a Male Dominant Sport
Throughout my years in Paddlesport I saw many people from every walk of life come and go through clubs, competitions and events but every concrete figure in the coaching, leading and mentoring roles were male.
Being a young girl in a male dominant sport certainly had its challenges, it was incredibly disheartening to feel lesser than my peers simply because of our biological differences. It was also empowering at times too, driving me on to prove I was just as good if not better than the boys. The most challenging aspects of being a female in a male dominant sport was recognising my limitations and differences and trying to use these to my advantage.
Unlike most people my determination and drive is fired by negativity. The more I was put down and challenged, the more determined I was to get back up and keep going. At the start I felt like I was being a spokes person for all female paddlers, specifically the younger girls coming into the sport. It felt like a huge burden to bear, constantly feeling that you had to prove yourself in the name of your gender.
It started to become obvious to me that this wasn't only an issue in Paddlesport, it was happening in a number of sports and more female coaches were needed to break up what was referred to as 'the old boys network'. This gave me my drive to become a multi-discipline Paddlesports coach, leader and guide.
My journey to become a Paddlesport coach was far from easy, but there's a lot to be said for a strong willed and determined women.
Today I use my experiences to ensure each and every female paddler i meet and coach has the support and encouragement to paddle and progress to be the best they want to be and can be.
I wanted to share my early experiences with you all and just say that regardless of your gender, ability or body type, if you want to be a Paddler or a Paddlesport Coach you will be, all you need is the determination and the passion to see it through.
P.S Just remember it doesn't take Muscle to Paddle..... It takes Technique.