Scottish Women’s Paddle Symposium 2023: Assistant Coaches

By Glenmore Lodge

On the 19th May, 150 female paddlers arrived at Glenmore Lodge for the Scottish Women’s Paddle Symposium. There was a great atmosphere here throughout the event, which included over 50 workshops. There were many opportunities for women to develop their paddling skills, build confidence, and to socialise with others who share their passion for paddlesports.

The weekend was made a fantastic experience for all attendees by the hard work of the SCA and Glenmore Lodge staff who were involved in its organisation, an amazing team of volunteers, and the fantastic coaches and leaders who delivered the sessions. Glenmore Lodge sponsored the places of 19 Assistant Coaches, who worked alongside the experienced workshop leaders. This was a valuable opportunity for these women to gain coaching and leadership experience.

Applications are currently open to be an Assistant Coach at SWPS 2024! You can find out more and apply HERE. Applications close on the 14th November 2023.

We asked them about the weekend and what it was like being an Assistant Coach

Shula Bayton:

SWPS was great preparation for me for my coach assessment this week. It gave me loads of time to watch and discuss someone else’s coaching and then build and develop on it the next day, as well as getting some real feedback from the coach and the participants. Favourite moments? Seeing confident descents of Knockando and the hilarity of the contortions of canoe twister. ­

(Shula passed her White Water Canoe Coach Assessment the following week!)

Joyce Johnston:

I had the most fantastic time at the SWPS 2023. I’ve been SUP-ing for 6 years now, and particularly enjoy the challenge of learning a new skill and the social aspect of it. I treasure the friendships I’ve made through this activity, whether SUPers, kayakers, or canoeists.

Being an Assistant Coach was a great opportunity to be part of an even bigger community, and to share and learn from an awesome bunch of women, and build confidence in my own skills as a coach. It was a very encouraging environment. The facilities offered by Glenmore were very much part of the overall positive vibe.

Samantha West:

It was lovely being an assistant coach and seeing so many people buzzing to get on the water and paddle. It was great to get feedback on my coaching as I work towards an assessment and it was great to work with both Jill Barrow and Jenny Newland, hearing and seeing different ways to coach others.

My highlight of the weekend was one of the women I was helping at the rolling clinic on the Friday afternoon found me on the Saturday night and told me she had done her first ever roll on the river!!

Savanna Gude:

It was great being an assistant coach at SWPS. It’s given me the confidence to go for my white-water SUP coach – if I had not been an Assistant, I wouldn’t have had the confidence in myself to believe I could lead groups in that environment!

My favourite part of the weekend was watching women feeling nervous to paddling rapids such as the ‘washing machine’ and then watching them breeze down it and having the biggest smile on their face, that was awesome!! Oh and also highlights were definitely Glenmore Lodge putting on the best feed!!!

Paddling down the Spey on the Intro to White Water SUP workshop

Susan Low:

It was an inspiring experience, prior to the event my coaching involvement has been limited to working within the club environment. This event created new learning opportunities, allowing me to meet and work with other female coaches in an unfamiliar environment. This event has not only enabled me to meet likeminded female coaches but has also allowed me to enhance and develop my skills and improve my self-confidence as a female coach.

The highlight of the weekend for myself was having the opportunity to work alongside and support of an experienced female coach. However, the atmosphere at the event was amazing. There was a real buzz with everyone having a lovely time, there was a feeling of fellowship and fun. The facilities at the Lodge really encompasses the event and brought everyone together.

Tickets will be on sale for SWPS 2024 on Tuesday 21st November 2023!