Jo, also known as @healthyhappy50 on social media, is a recent addition to the Bluefin SUP Community. Jo is a self-professed: ‘joy encourager, midlife adventurer and beach cleaner’. She is based just down the valley from us in the picturesque Yorkshire Dales. She is a mum of two, body positivity and climate change activist and just an all round wonder woman.
We got to know Jo when she contacted us about her plans to ‘Paddle the North’ to raise money for two amazing causes: The Wave Project & 2MinuteBeachClean. We are supporting Jo with this paddle and have supplied her with boards and social support.
Just last week, Jo was asked to take part in the ‘Welcome to Yorkshire‘ installation of the Chelsea Flower Show. How cool is that?! Jo wanted to take a board from a Yorkshire company so our 10’8 Cruise went along for the ride. We asked her all about it…
How did your participation in the RHS CFS come about?
The Canal & River Trust contacted me via my Twitter account after seeing me talk about my PaddleboardTheNorth adventure this summer. It was all top secret & very exciting!
How were you and the SUP involved?
The RHS Chelsea Flower Show is one of the most important events in the gardening world. Top garden designers and industry experts exhibit and there are a number of large gardens built from scratch on “Main Avenue”. Welcome to Yorkshire & the award-winning designer, Mark Gregory created an incredible West Yorkshire Canal with original locks from the Huddersfield Canal & a lock keeper’s cottage. My role was to show how the canals are now a great place for leisure and wellbeing by paddleboarding at the front of the canal area of the garden.
Who did you meet?
Wow, so many people! Jo Whiley, Davina McCall, Victoria Pendleton, Will Young, Sophie Raworth, Deborah Meaden, Anthea Turner… Dame Judi Dench also visited the garden!
Check us out, in the same article as the Queen!
How did the board perform?
The board was great. We had to pump it up out of sight and then carry it onto the garden with press & visitors watching! I climbed down a ladder onto the water and the board was lowered to me. I then popped my leash on, knelt on the board and in front of everyone stood up! I was so nervous, my knees were shaking, but the board felt great. Really stable and so light to manoeuvre on the ladder!
Any thoughts on the board?
It felt great, the extra D rings were helpful & it looked super on the photos. Really brilliant!
Tell us more about your Ambassadorship for the Canoeing Association?
I am so grateful to be a Women’s Paddlesports Ambassador for British Canoeing. Essentially, our role is to share the joy of the waterways, in kayaks or canoes, or like me on a paddleboard! I’m the oldest Ambassador at 54 & I really want to show that paddleboarding is a wonderful form of exercise and welcomes women of all ages. It’s an exciting year ahead!
How is training for your trip going?
Training is going well thank you. I’ve been doing lots of exciting things recently, including surfing in Biarritz & speaking at different events, so I’m fitting it in around all of that. Cycling, kettlebells, yoga, spin cycle, aqua fitness & of course SUP! My training is also training my mind and my self-belief so I’m practising lots of positive self-talk & visualisation.
Paddleboard the North
Jo sets off on her paddle expedition on 27th July. We will be following her progress across our Social media channels and we are so excited to see how she gets on. If you would like to find out more about her trip. Head to her website.
Jo is super inspiring, we are so happy that she is a part of our Community. We are off to go and pick up some plastic now. Byeeee.