Supporting British Women in Sport
Thirteen-year-old Sussex girl with bright sporting future set for British National Championships as beacon for UK Women!
Seeking to build on that trend is thirteen-year-old water skier Willow Skipsey…
According to recent findings by the charity Women in Sport, there is ‘huge disengagement’ in teenage girls when it comes to sport and exercise. And the facts* remain that:
In the UK more than 700,000 women are less active than men
Nearly 60% of girls are not meeting recommended exercise guidelines
And yet 2022 has been described by Women in Sport as
‘The Year Women’s Sport Roared’.
Currently seeking sponsorship to enable her to fulfill her potential, Willow will be participating in Three Event Tournament Water-skiing, where she hopes to score highly enough to qualify for the British National Championships in August.
Based in Selsey on the South Coast, Willow was recently awarded the trophy for ‘The most improved female skier’ by The Waterski Academy at their annual awards ceremony. She has also completed her Gold Award for Trick and Slalom skiing which along with Jump Skiing, make up the three events of a Three Event Waterski Tournament.
Training in all weathers (including sub-zero temperatures), Willow initially tried water skiing at an after-school club, created by a partnership with Chichester Free School and Chichester Waterski Club. Her natural aptitude was immediately spotted by the club’s coach Duke Hazzard. Suggesting she try Trick Skiing; Passing his protégé on to former British Team member, now waterski coach Nick McGarry at The Waterski Academy due to Chichester being closed over winter. Willow’s parents now take her on the five hundred round trip journey twice a month to Lancashire in order for her to continue training in addition to visiting JB Waterski in Surrey.
A word from Willow…
“Hi, I’m Willow, and after reading all the statistics about women in sport I would really love to encourage other girls to try different sports. My goal now is to find a sponsor that can help me along my water-skiing journey so I can improve my skills and help inspire and encourage other girls to do more sport. I will continue to train hard in all weathers and continue to travel up to Manchester for my winter training to hopefully get accepted to compete in the national championship in August. I would love for my story to inspire other girls as you never know where sport can lead you and without being introduced to water-skiing, I would have never found my love, passion and dedication for the sport and I want others to find theirs. It would be amazing if you could help me to help others and myself along this journey”
A word from her coaches
Duke Hazzard – Coach and Club Safety Officer at Chichester Waterski Club
“Willow is talented, dedicated and disciplined. When she makes it to the Nationals, she will be the third juvenile that Chichester Waterski Club will have put through. Watching young talent like Willow develop is a real pleasure.”
Nick McGarry - Former British Waterski Team member and The Waterski Academy Coach
“Willow has already made sacrifices such as her social life and other sports she used to participate in. To be in with a chance of qualifying for this year’s National Championships. She now has to score enough points in at least two of the disciplines in previous competitions to compete in all three at The Nationals.”
“To be a three-event skier you need discipline and determination to learn the necessary techniques. Flair and natural talent help but you won’t get anywhere without hard work and dedication,”
This opportunity is supported by The British Media Company who will be supporting the project and raising awareness for the sponsor. This will be done via targeted ads on designated platforms to ensure maximum return on investment for the sponsor.
Interview with Dani Halford: What It Takes to Be a Competitive Water Skier
Waterskiing is a thrilling and demanding sport that requires a lot of dedication, time, and effort to be successful. Dani Halford, a GB team waterskier, knows this better than anyone. In this interview, she talks about what it takes to be a competitive waterskier and how the sport has changed her life.
To be a competitive waterskier, Halford says it takes a lot of dedication and time. You need to be willing to learn and build relationships with your superiors. The sport is physically demanding, but it can also put a lot of mental stress on you during competition season. Building connections with others in the sport can help alleviate some of that stress and provide valuable support and advice.
For young females who are looking to try the sport, Halford's advice is simple: don't be afraid to start. It can be daunting to try something new, but everyone starts somewhere, and no one will judge you. The waterskiing community is welcoming and helpful, and you will receive hints and tips to help you progress.
The sport has completely changed Halford's life. It has given her structure and aims to work towards. It has taught her how to socialize with all types of people and important life lessons such as coaching and learning to drive the boat. Additionally, waterskiing has created lifelong friends and an atmosphere that is hard to get enough of.
Waterskiing has taken Halford all around the world. She has traveled to Chile, Florida, Spain, Greece, and Monaco. However, she says that mentally, it has taken her even further. It has made her a more well-rounded person and has developed her social skills and dedication to the next level. Her next step is to continue skiing at a high level while also focusing more on her driving and coaching qualifications. She hopes to get a job abroad in her gap year.
In conclusion, waterskiing is a challenging and rewarding sport that requires a lot of dedication, time, and effort to succeed. Dani Halford's advice to young females looking to try the sport is to take the plunge and not be afraid to start. The sport has the potential to change your life in ways you may never have imagined.