Anna Hemmings - Member of the World Paddle Awards Academy
The WPA would like to introduce, perhaps the most decorated female marathon paddler ever, Anna Hemmings to the Academy.
Anna is 6-times kayak marathon World Champion, paddling at Elmbridge Canoe Club in South West London, the same club as 5-time marathon World Champion and fellow Academy member Ivan Lawler.
Anna's marathon World Championship record is phenomenal; 6 golds (K1: 1999, 2001, 2005, 2006, 2007 and K2: 2001) – she achieved the unbelievable double in 2001 by winning both K1 and K2 marathons on home soil, Stockton. Anna's golden marathon haul could have been 8 as she only narrowly missed out in K1 in 1996 and 1998 taking home silver on both occasions. She was also crowned European marathon Champion in 1997, 1999 and 2005.
Anna is the only British female canoeist to ever hold both European and World marathon canoeing titles concurrently (1999 and 2005). Throughout her career she won a staggering 11 World and European Championship medals.
She won her first K1W marathon in Györ, Hungary, in the same year as fellow Brit and club-mate Ivan Lawler won the K1 men’s marathon (the last win of his career).
During her marathon career, Anna showed her diversity and capacity for speed by becoming a 2-time Olympic kayaker, representing Great Britain in Sydney in 2000, competing in the K1 500m event, and Bejing in 2008, racing with Jessica Walker in the K2 500m.
She also proudly competed at 8 European Canoe Sprint Championships and 8 Sprint World Championships over an array of distances and classes: K1/K2/K4 200m, 500m and 1000m.
Since having retired from top-level paddling, she has enjoyed commentating on television and radio for BBC and Eurosport. Furthermore she is a corporate and educational motivational speaker.
Anna is a member of the Jaguar Academy of Sport, whose goal is to recognise, celebrate and inspire the next generation of British sporting heroes by giving them the opportunity to work with and learn from the best British sportsmen and women. Anna’s role is to mentor the young athletes, sharing her knowledge and experience and guiding them in their journey’s to the top of their own sports.
In 2009 she co-founded and still serves as Director of Beyond the Barriers, an organisation that helps businesses get the most out of their employees using lessons learnt from sport by focusing on 3 core areas: health and well-being, mental resilience and peak performance. Anna also works with elite athletes, helping them control their mental, emotional and physiological state to perform at their best under challenging conditions. She is at the forefront of using innovative approaches such as neurofeedback, HRV plus the latest techniques and cutting edge technology from across the globe to equip people with the tools for success in a highly pressurised sporting environment.