• #ShePaddles weekend comes to Wales – bringing together world-leading female coaches, beginners and enthusiasts for skills workshops and masterclasses
  • Initiative hosted in Snowdonia aims to encourage more women to progress their passion

National Outdoor Centre, Plas y Brenin is, for the first time, joining forces with Canoe Cymru to host #ShePaddles – an initiative that aims to inspire and encourage more women and girls into paddlesports.

Marking the event’s debut at Plas y Brenin in Snowdonia, it will take place on 7th and 8th May 2022. The two-day event will bring together beginners, enthusiasts, inspiring instructors, coaches, ambassadors and brands with some of Great Britain’s most accomplished, talented and inspiring coaches.

Split across the two days, the weekend has something for everyone from skills development workshops to masterclasses with the professionals and entertainment on Saturday evening as well as gin tasting with Aber Falls.

Attendees will be able to learn from the very best coaches and leaders across canoeing and kayaking – including those who have previously competed at Olympic level. The event will see a jam-packed itinerary including workshops on kayak, canoeing and SUP coaching and leadership as well as safety and rescue, navigation, planning and kit preparation.

Workshops will be hosted by elite athletes including Lowri Davies, Sian Sykes, Lizzie Harrington, Chris Evans and Dave Janes.

Helen Barnard, Chief Instructor, Plas y Brenin commented: “We’re excited to be hosting #ShePaddles in association with Canoe Cymru. The weekend will bring together the best and most inspiring coaches in the paddlesports world to share insights and tips to inspire current and future generations of female paddlers whatever their ambition. Together, we have developed the ideal environment to introduce, encourage and support any female that wishes to participate in Paddlesport safely and responsibly – and we hope for this to be the first of many more.”

#ShePaddles was started by British Canoeing to even things up – even in 2020, only 3 in 10 members are female. The ambition is to keep them progressing to where they want to be – whether that’s paddling with family, volunteering as a coach at a local club, becoming an instructor or competing at a national level.

Tickets are available from £175 and must be booked in advance from the Plas y Brenin website. Limited capacity accommodation is also available on site.

Full itinerary

Saturday workshops

  • Kayak Coaching Workshop with Plas y Brenin instructor, Chris Evans or Laura Wynne
  • Canoe Coaching Workshop with Lizzie Harrington, holder of the highest canoeing coaching and leadership awards offered by British Canoeing
  • SUP Coaching Workshop with Sian Sykes, Stand Up Paddleboarding Adventurer and Environmental Ambassador
  • Safety and Rescue Workshop with Plas y Brenin instructor Matt Giblin
  • Navigation, Planning and Kit Preparation Workshop with Plas y Brenin instructor Dave Janes
  • Children’s Paddlesport Fun Session
  • The complete beginner Workshop (opportunity to try all crafts and get a taster for life on the water) ​(Please confirm if this is definitely a workshop option)
  • Freestyle Masterclass with Lowri Davies

Sunday workshops

  • Children’s Paddlesport Fun Day
  • Kayaking Journey
  • White Water Kayak Journey
  • Sea Kayak Journey
  • Canoe Journey
  • Stand up Paddleboard Journey

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About Plas y Brenin

Plas y Brenin National Outdoor Centre was founded in 1955 and is a world-renowned provider of adventure sports training. From a base in the scenic heart of Snowdonia, Plas y Brenin’s work is focused on developing inspiring coaches, instructors and leaders in adventure sport, be they volunteers or working professionally in the sector, to better support people, from all backgrounds, to get active in the outdoors.

The centre also offers an extensive programme of personal skill development courses in rock climbing, hillwalking and mountaineering, kayaking, canoeing, sea kayaking and mountain biking. The centre also delivers a diverse and vibrant events programme, with adventure talks, environmental lectures, mountain safety lessons and sector-leading conferences.

Owned by Sport England, Plas y Brenin is operated on their behalf by the educational charity, the Mountain Training Trust (MTT); a not-for-profit charity founded by the British Mountaineering Council, Mountain Training UK and Mountain Training England. The charity was formed specifically to run the centre and ensure delivery of world-class training and encourage more people to get active in the outdoors, regardless of their abilities or experience.

To find out more about Plas y Brenin’s comprehensive course programme, facilities, business and educational services please visit www.pyb.co.uk


#ShePaddles Cymru is Canoe Wales’s own #ShePaddles initiative in Wales. We asked our Development Officer to explain how #ShePaddles Cymru started and where it’s heading:

Here at Canoe Wales, we have a real desire to have gender balance in paddlesport in all settings.

Only 29% of Canoe Wales members are female, and so we knew we wanted to do something to balance things out. The Sport Wales’ 2018 School Sport Survey highlighted that participation in paddlesport is relatively gender equal at school age – and in fact demand for paddlesport is higher among females at secondary school age – but this is not currently translated into memberships.