Recently I had the pleasure of doing a shoot with the incredibly talented, Claire O'hara. Her passion and enthusiasm for not only her sport but life in general is an inspiration.
Not only is Claire a world champion many times over in the world of freestyle kayaking, she also spends most of her spare time promoting the sport she loves and coaching youth squads all around the world.
Her list of achievements include 8 world championships in the different classes of freestyle kayaking, Representing the UK in the 2012 olympics, European Cup, European Champion and British Champion titles, 4 times Leeds Sportswoman of the year, 3 times British Canoeing Athlete recognition award and International Paddler of the Year by TVFreestlyers.
I first met Claire out at the Penrith Whitewater stadium when I was just getting into kayaking. Back then all I did was tip upside down and mostly get in the way of the other paddlers. Claire paddled straight up to me with a big smile and sat with me, giving up her own training time to help me out with tips and advice. Every time I paddled past, she would shout out encouragement.
How many world champions do you know that would do that so freely?
A true ambassador to the sport.