At 20 years of age, Kimberly Woods is one of the bright stars of the British canoeing and kayaking scene. Currently on Britain’s senior team for both K1 kayak slalom and C1 canoe slalom, Kimberley has got her sights set on representing Britain in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Mpora caught up with her after a busy training session at Lee Valley White Water Centre in Hertfordshire to find out what makes one of the best kayakers in the UK tick
Kimberley began canoeing at the age of 8, cruising the canals near her home town of Rugby. Today she holds both silver World Cup and gold European Championship medals for C1 but reassuringly she started out making the same rookie mistakes every beginner kayaker that most people do the first time they pick up a paddle.
‘I started canoeing in 2004 up in a little town called Rugby on the canals, and I’ve been in a boat ever since. Every time I fell in I would always pop my spray deck, even though I learned to roll in the swimming pool I was still falling in and pulling my deck. It took me a while to actually get used to rolling on white water. I remember the first time I rolled on white water it was pretty exciting. But now it’s just second nature. I fall in and I roll back up!’