British Canoeing

Overcoming disability one paddle at a time

When British Canoeing wanted to launch an initiative to give people with disabilities the chance to paddle their own canoe, we couldn’t help but dive in.

The programme is all about getting people living with illness or disability out of the confines of everyday life and onto the water. So as part of the campaign, we created a series of short films following the stories of people who picked up their paddle and took the challenge.

We shot the films in the scenic mountain rivers of North Wales, the Olympic training water park in Lee Valley, and the canals of Exeter.

One of the inspiring people we documented was teenager Maya Ray, whose disability forced her to live life on the sidelines. By taking to the kayak, she not only discovered newfound freedom and confidence, but defied the odds and surprised doctors with her agility on the water. The stories we followed were so compelling that we soon found ourselves giving it a go…and got very wet in the process. But it was worth every sopping bit of it.



Anderson West
Lili Blot
Nigel Moore / Mark Kuczewski