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'people grow through experience

if they meet life honestly and courageously. this is how

character is built.'

OUR PROFILE

  • 1980. Addi is born in Athens, Greece (English Mother, Spanish God-Parents)

  • Addi grows up in Greece, Thailand and Spain

  • 2008. Athina is born in Madrid, Spain

  • 2014. They move to Leeds, Yorkshire

Together they go searching for fun experiences that combine their love for sports, adventure and nature.

Here are some of their most favourite moments:

TOGETHER

  • TeamAA kayak/Swim (Yorkshire) Mum swims 5km and pulls Athina inside a kayak. A fun way for little-lobster to enjoy the wonderful views across the lake whilst mum does her endurance training in prep towards Ironman Wales. (May 2016)

 

  • Winners of the 2016 Sean Conway Adventure Scholarship with the ‘Pirates of the Canals' adventure.

  • Pirates of the Canals I. Mother and daughter paddle the full length of Leeds-Liverpool canal in a dingy boat (Boaty McBoatface) in         7 days, mostly with torrential weather in aid of Jane Tomplinson Appeal. (August 2016)

  • Runners up at the John MacGregor - 2016 BRITISH CANOEING National Awards.

Honouring outstanding endurance, adventure, exploration and performance (October 2016)

 

  • BBC Sports Personality of the year 2016, live call.  Athina receives a #BigThankYou phone call live from the BBC Sports

Personality of the Year show. Anne Dickings (GB paracanoeist) thanks her for her volunteering, fundraising and her great sporting performance, canoeing the Leeds-Liverpool canal (December 2016)

  • Yorkshire Choice Awards 2017 The awards are a celebration of achievement in Yorkshire.

Mother and daughter are nominated and finalists in 3 categories: 

  • Inspirational Individual of the Year 

  • Sporting Achievement of the Year

  • The Kate Granger Award for Outstanding Contribution

  • Mini Olympics and public talks (Primary Schools) Mother and daughter visit schools across Yorkshire and Spain, talking about canal adventures, encouraging more children to get active and go exploring. (2016-2019)

  • Night Orienteering Race (Leeds). Mother and daughter run their first orienteering race together. Armed with torches, headlights, a map and joined by good friends they run across the streets of Leeds searching for post-boxes. (March 2017)

  • First Mother/Daughter Open Water swim race (Lancaster). They swim 1k in a beautiful quarry. They swim backstroke so Mum can count 1-2-3 and help Athina keep her rhythm. Athina says when she's older she will do all the counting for Mum. (July 2017) 

  • BBC Countryfile Live, Public Talk (Blenheim Palace). Under the title 'Pirates of the canal - A family afloat' the fearless duo are invited to the live shows as part of the Explore Britain section for an inspirational talk on adventure, sports and togetherness. 

They secret? Plan a little less and adventure a little more. (August 2017)

  • Pirates of the Canals II (Lancaster/Cumbria) Mother and daughter build an eco-friendly raft made out of water pipes, office chairs, cabinet screens and use an old graduation gown and a broom stick as a sail. They paddle 65k across the Lancaster canal, camp along the way and collect litter from the canal while adventuring. (August 2017)​

 

  • Finalists at the UNIVERSITY OF LEEDS 2018, Sustainability Awards in the 'Making the most of resources' for their Pirates of the Canals II. 

  • 3 Lakes Challenge (First lake: Bala, Wales) The little pirates embark on their first of three UK's largest lakes. They paddle across

lake Bala (Wales) 7 miles. When the weather changes and they get headwind Athina can't get enough of paddling on choppy water and their four-legged captain falls in. (July 2018) 

  • Micro-MTB-adventure (Yorkshire Dales) Saturday morning mother and daughter with heavy touring bags and a teeny-tiny pooch sitting inside a small shopping basket (!) depart from Chevin Forest on their mountain bikes. Destination? unknown. They toss a coin on

every junction to decide whether they go left or right. Together they cycle 40 miles, across some of Yorkshires most scenic and challenging climbs. At 7 degrees, they sleep underneath the stars. (November 2018)

  • Pirates of the Canals IV (Highlands, Scotland) TeamAA with help from a boat-building expert, build a Canadian canoe using scrap pieces of wood and paddle across the Great Glen. They then walk back to the start;  in total 150 miles. Mother and daughter do this unsupported and camp along the way, identifying invasive species. (August 2019)

  • World Triathlon Series 2016-2019 (Leeds, Yorkshire). Mother and daughter assist at the Elite Athletes Award Ceremony, for four consecutive years. They have a blast at the rehearsals and Athina fills in as 'Pretend-World-Champion'. In 2017 she hands out the 'Series Leader' awards whilst Mum hands out the flowers every year. (2016 -2019)

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MAMACCA = LITTLE MUMMY (AKA: Addi)

  • ​​Snowdonia Trail Marathon. First marathon and it's a trail! She falls in love with Wales. (August 2015)

  • Mixed Abilities Rugby World TournamentAddi discovers the wonderful world of rugby while volunteering as a Spanish interpreter and makes some new friends for life. (Yorkshire, August 2015)

  • 70.3 IRONMAN LanzaroteConsidered by many to be one of the toughest events in the world.  Feels good at the end of it. She thinks she can double the distance. (September 2015)​

  • Love Swim Run. A 3.5km swim in the deep clear waters of Llyn Padarn in shoes and pulling a survival bag. A 12.5km run beneath the majestic summit of Snowdon dressed in a wetsuit and soggy trainners; a hilarious event.  (Snowdonia, June 2016)

  • 10Km Open Water Swim (loch Ard, Scotland). An incredible 5 hour swim in another truly magical loch. (September 2016)

  • IRONMAN Wales. One of the toughest races in the world. Swim: 2.4miles - Bike: 112 miles - Run: 26.2 miles all within strict cut-off times. Addi is treated to some of the most vocal and enthusiastic spectators in endurance sports; we're in Wales after all! She loves the experience and says 'It's all in the head'. (September 2016) ​

 

A couple of days after Addi completes the notorious IRONMAN Wales, and during her commute a reckless driver hits on the bike lane. Bike is written off and Addi rushed to hospital. A few stitches later Addi is instructed to strict bed rest for a month and physiotherapy. 

  • World Cup, International Winter Swimming Association by Big Chill Swim. A swim in the heart of winter without a wetsuit? Addi goes in twice, for a 120m frerstyle solo and a 30m relay with the 'Chester Frosties1. Water temperature in Windermere? 7 degrees.(December 2016)

  • Solo Winter Adventure I. Cycling solo 400km with only a backpack. Five days to get from Essex to Lands End. Steep hills in both Bath and Cornwall and plenty of falls cycling in the heart of the British Winter on icy roads! (December 2016)  

  • First Ultra Run race (Yorkshire Dales). 52km, 1300m climb. It takes 9.33 hrs to run through continuous paste-like mud with a heavy backpack. At the finish line two large bacon batties await and Addi eats them with no shame. (March 2017)

  • Red Bull Neptune Steps. Swimming upstream in 7 degrees in a canal in Glasgow climbing over lock gates was always going to be full of excitement. Throw in 320 of the toughest competitors and we have a cracking; albeit insane event! (Scotland, March 2017)

  • Leeds University Partnerships Awards 2017. The Partnership Awards recognise and celebrate (amongst others) the achievements,

commitments and impact of staff. Addi is nominated for the 2017 Wellbeing Champion Award. (May 2017)

  • Four Passes, Fell Running (Borrowdale, Lakes). 31km (19 miles) mountain race, self-navigation on a rocky and technical terrain. Plenty of rain and scrambling involved, strong winds and muddy paths. Addi rates this as one of her top 3 races to date. (October 2017)

  • University of Leeds Vice-Chancellors Wellbeing Award 2017. Organised and led by Addi, the School of History receives the

first ever Wellbeing Achievement Award. This is in recognition of the Schools' collective and continuous efforts for a healthy work/life balance. Addi is nominated for the Wellbeing Award twice, both with the School and as a Healthy Week Hero. She says:

"The greatest award is doing something you're proud of with people you value." (November 2017)

  • Solo Winter Adventure II (Majorca, Spain). Armed with a backpack Addi heads off to Spain on a new quest for adventure. She treks across the Tramountana mountain in the heart of winter and sleeps mainly in a hammock. She makes friends with the hospitable locals and finds herself celebrating Christmas, the 'Majorcan way' with another 25 people of the same family. (December 2017)

  • Public Speaking (University of Leeds) Addi gives various inspirational talks across the University of Leeds on the topics of Wellbeing and Adventuring  (Womens Leeds Network, Healthy Week Hero 2018 launch event, H&S Network etc.) 2017-2019 

  • 105km Run. The Serpent Trail (South Downs National Park). Joint by her friend Martyn, Addi runs her longest jog; across greensand hills, lowland heath, woodland and river meanders from Haslemere to Petersfield. They ascend to the highest point in the South Downs National Park, snaking through glades, copse, fields and heathland as it rises and falls through the Wealden Greensand Hills. They get a wee lost but they complete the race the same day and conclude they run 105km instead! (June 2017) 

  • BRITISH CANOEING Female Paddling Ambassador. Selected as one of British Canoeing's firs ever Women's Paddling Ambassadors,

Addi is chosen for her inspirational approach to paddle sport and her desire to share her love of the sport with others. Her mission?

To encourage more women to give the sport a go. (2018-2019)

  • 3 Lakes Challenge (Second lake: Windermere.) Joined by her 72 yr-old friend Sue, Addi takes on Windermere (England) 11 miles. She paddles in an old slalom kayak she named: 'Back-from-the-dead-red'. (August 2018)

  • Equality and Inclusion Committee (School of History, University of Leeds) A committee responsible for the promotion of equality of opportunity across the School of History. Addi joins the committee, hoping to engage with a wide range of equality and diversity issues affecting both staff and students. (2018)

  • British Canoeing, Women's Advisory Group. The key focus is to share ideas based on existing knowledge and experience to help increase female representation and raise the profile.  Addi joins the group and discussions around activation opportunities, how to support existing workforce and future opportunities for development. (2018)

  • Women at Leeds Network (University of Leeds) Addi joins the Women at Leeds Network committee formed by female colleagues across the University- academic and professional. A network with speakers offering experiences of career journeys, advice and support. (2018) 

  • Water@Leeds Confluence, Talk (University of Leeds) Invited to give a talk at the University of Leeds, Annual Water@Leeds Confluence bringing to the groups’ attention her work outside the University as a water-based Adventurer. Addi's aim was to form academic collaborations that engage the general public with the University of Leeds world class scientific research. (September 2018) 

  • Beacons Marathon (Brecon Beacons National Park) In just 24 hours Addi drives 6 hrs South, sleeps in her car, joins the strenuous mountain race to the summits of Pen y Fan (highest peak in South Wales) at 886m (2,907 ft) and drives back home again. Isn't amazing how much one can do in a day's worth? (November 2018)

  • Solo Winter Adventure III (NC500, Scotland) The notorious North Coast 500 is a 516-mile scenic route around the north coast of Scotland. six days of cycling solo through some of Highlands most remote and breath taking rural areas. Carrying 25kg and wild camping along the way at sub-zero temperatures. A journey of self-discovery, new friendships and resilience. (December 2018)

  • Public talk (York University) Addi is invited to give a talk about the TeamAA mother-daughter adventures with a special focus on environmental pollution. (March 2019)

  • Water@Leeds 10th Year Anniversary, Talk (University of Leeds) -  Addi gives a talk to colleagues and external partners about the impact and evaluation of the Pirates of the canals IV research trip. (September 2019)

  • Vice-Chancellors Wellbeing Achievement Award (University of Leeds) A finalist at the University of Leeds VC Awards, celebrating the exceptional inspiration, dedication and achievement in Wellbeing. This nomination is for Addi's volunteering with

her dog Shadow, improving wellness for Staff and Students across the University of Leeds. (November 2019)

  • BRITISH CANOEING, Clear Water Clear Access Award. On it's first project anniversary, Addi receives the Community Champion award for her volunteering work promoting the British waterways and for helping protect those with environmental messages. She uses social media to share research on identifying invasive species and explain why bio-security is critically important, why the

Check-Clean-Dry campaign matters. (December 2019)

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LITTLE LOBSTER (AKA: ATHINA)

  • Age 1, learns to Swim. She's a little lobster!  Strong legs and naturally good at backstroke.

  • Age 5, joins the local Gymnastics club, by the age of 11 she's into tumbling-gymnastics.   

  • Age 5, Runs her first 5km Parkrun; she continues to run and her PB today stands proudly at 29 mins. 

  • Age 8, joins the Junior Athletics team and as she grows older she's considering Pentathlon.  

  • Age 9, joins the Circuit Youth Race Training Cluster and rides her first road bike. 

  • Age 9, Athina begins Horse Riding. She loves being outdoors, the connection with animals and show jumping is her thing. 

  • IRONKIDS, Wales. It's all about fun and healthy living! Age 7, Athina runs her first 'Solo' race. 1.5km. She still remembers

she took part in her first 'IRONMAN' before mum! (September 2015)

  • Harewood, 2ml Trail Race. There is no stopping her now!  Part of the Leeds Junior Race Series (November 2015)

  • Yorkshire Primary Schools: Trail runs, Athletics, Netball and basketball games. Athina represents her primary school in various sports and contributes to the school's overall sporting achievements. (2016-2018)

  • LBT Junior Aquathlon. Athina takes part in her 1st Aquathlon. 150m swim followed by a 1200k run. In Athina's own words: 'It was a tough race Mummy, but I liked it because the swim was fun and I like my new water bottle!' (Leeds, May 2017)​

  • Brownlee Foundation Triathlon. Athina's completes her first triathlon and she really enjoys it. The cycling is her favourite part. (May 2018)

  • Total Warrior (Junior Warrior) Athina volunteers with Mum and then she takes part in the race. (June 2018)

  • City of Leeds Swimming Squad. Little lobster joins the Leeds Swimming Squad and participates in various gala races. She loves it! 

(July 2018 - to date)

  • National Geographic Kids Photo Competition. Little-Lobster wins the iconic National Geographic photography competition, in the 'People' category. Amazing! (December 2019)

LITTLE-MISS-SHADOW(AKA: WELLBEING PUP)

February 2018. Little-Miss-Shadow joins the TeamAA family. She commutes daily with her human

by bike and joins the University of Leeds as a wellbeing dog. She becomes the perfect adventure companion, proof that one can be small and mighty!

   

  • Wellbeing Pup. Shadow joins the University of Leeds as a wellbeing-pup. Students and Staff take her for walks across the campus. She brings a sense of community to members, reduces stress and acts as an ice breaker for external guests. (February 2017)

  • LUU Bereavement session (Exam support) Shadow spreads some love and joy at the University Union. She has a wonderful time playing and being stroked by the students attending this session.  

  • Salty Dog, pirate crew. Shadow joins the her humans on her first paddling adventure across the Leeds-Liverpool canal. Since then, she is often seen across a canal, loch or river in a suspicious looking vessel. (March 2018)

  • Race for life, 10k Run Shadow's first volunteering sporting event, at the finish line high-fiving participants.

(Harewood House, Leeds) 

  • First Summit, Whernside (Yorkshire) Little pooch makes it up her very first summit! With no help at all and leaving everyone behind her she reaches 2,415 ft. (April, 2018) 

  • Total Warrior. Pooch volunteers at the children's climbing obstacles. The participants are delighted to see her there! (June 2018)

  • 'Have-fun-reading-to-Shadow' (Yorkshire, primary schools) Children at primary schools read to Shadow who in return promises not to interrupt and listen attentively. (2018) 

  • Agility Course. Pooch takes part with 'Little-Human' agility courses at their local canine shows. (2018-2019)

  • Water@Leeds 10th Year Anniversary (University of Leeds) - Shadow is invited to the Great Hall, to give a talk about her exploration trip in Scotland investigating Invasive Species. Probably the only known dog to ever give a talk in this iconic venue! (September 2019)

  • Vice-Chancellor's Awards for Wellbeing (University of Leeds) - Shadow is a finalist at the University of Leeds

VC Wellbeing Awards for the terrific work she does. (December 2019)

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... AND SO THEY LIVED HAPPILY EVER AFTER. THE END-