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'people grow through experience

if they meet life honestly and courageously. this is how

character is built.'


  • 1980. Addi is born in Athens, Greece (English Mother, Greek Father, 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.

Some of their challenges include:


  • Parkrun. Mother and daughter to date have run 30 Parkruns together. (UK. 2015-2018)

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

  • World Triathlon Series. Mother and daughter assist at the Elite Athletes Award Ceremony, for three consecutive years. They have a blast at the rehearsals with the Columbia Threadneedle team. Athina pretends to be world champion every year and in 2017 hands out the 'Series Leader' awards. (Leeds, 2016 -2018)

Winners of the 2016 Sean Conway Adventure Scholarship with their ‘Pirates of the Canal Adventure’.

  • Pirates of the Canal 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. (Leeds-Liverpool, August 2016)

Second place nomination 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. Mum nominates Athina for a #BigThankYou phone call at BBC Sports Personality of the Year!

Anne Dickings  (GB paracanoeist, 2x world champ 3x European champ) skypes Athina live during the programme and thanks her for her volunteering, her fundraising and for 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 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 Leeds and give public talks about their canal adventures hoping to encourage more children to get active and live life more adventurously (2016-2018)

  • Night Orienteering Race. 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. Found 11 of them in 45 mins + run 5.5km. (Leeds, March 2017)

  • First Mother/Daughter Open Water swim race. 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. (Lancaster, July 2017) 

  • BBC Countryfile Live. 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 to inspire with their love of adventure, sports and togetherness. They say: Plan a little less + adventure a little more. (Blenheim Palace, August 2017)

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

Finalist at the UNIVERSITY OF LEEDS 2018, Sustainability Awards in the 'Making the most of resources'

        with their water-pipe raft. 

  • 3 Lakes Challenge (British Canoeing) - First lake: Bala (Wales) Three 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! 2 lakes remain (July 2018) 

  • Mother-daughter MTB touring adventure (Yorkshire Dales) Saturday morning two little ladies 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.- The plan is simple: cycle to their hearts content. At 7 degrees, they sleep underneath a not-so flat piece of land and spend the night sliding at the bottom of the tent! They cycle to Settle in two days. 36 miles and 1434 feet ascent in heavy rain isn't enough to stop Little Lobster from totally rocking the Yorkshire climbs! (November 2018)

  • Pirates of the Canals IV TeamAA with help from a boat-building expert, build a Canadian canoe in just four weekends using scrap pieces of wood that include: church skirting and bed planks! In August 2019 they paddle across the Great Glen (Scotland) and walk back to the start. In total 150 miles. Mother and daughter do this unsupported and camp along the way, identifying invasive species. 



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

  • Mixed Abilities Rugby World TournamentShe 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. (Spain, 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. An incredible 5 hour swim in another truly magical loch- (Loch Ard, Scotland. 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' :) (Wales, 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. 

  • International Winter Swimming Association World Cup 2016-Big Chill Swim (No wetsuit) 120m solo freestyle + 30m freestyle as relay member of #ChesterFrosties . Water temperature: 7 degrees. Officially 'hooked' on winter swimming. (Lake Windermere, December 2016)

  • Solo Winter Cycling Adventure. Maldon-Lands End. Roughly 400km, solo ride with a backpack in 5 days. A time to hit the road after the recent accident and put the new road bike to the test. Steep hills in both Bath and Cornwall and plenty of fun cycling in the heart of the British Winter on icy roads (!) (27.12.16-1.1.17)  

  • First ultra, Punk Panther race. 52km, 1300m climb. It takes 9.33 hrs to run through continuous paste-like mud with a heavy bag-pack. At the finish line two large bacon batties await and Addi eats them with no shame. (Yorkshire Moors, 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 Partnerships Awards 2017. The awards are a celebration of achievement at the University of Leeds. The Partnership Awards recognises and celebrates (amongst others) the achievements, commitments and impact of staff (May 2017) Addi is nominated for the  2017 Wellbeing Champion Award .

  • Four passes fell running. 31km (19 miles) mountain race,  self navigated route. 6 hours of fell/trail running, going up and down relentlessly (4 times x 5,100 feet) on rocky and technical terrain. The rain, streams of water, newly created waterfalls, scrambling, strong winds and muddy paths made Addi feel like a child again! She rates this as one of her top 3 races to date- (Borrowdale, Lake District - October 2017)

  • UNIVERSITY OF LEEDS Vice-Chancellors Awards for Health and Safety 2017; WELLBEING ACHIEVEMENT AWARD. Recognising and rewarding exceptional inspiration, commitment and practice of staff (October  2016)  

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 was 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 backpacking adventure. Armed with a backpack Addi heads off to Spain on a new quest for adventure. Trekking across the Tramountana mountain, sleeping mainly in a hammock in the heart of winter. A life-changing journey and real test of endurance. Along the way she makes friends with the hospitable locals and finds herself learning all about the islands traditions and best nature spots . She finds herself celebrating Christmas, the 'Majorcan way' with another 25 people of the same family! (Majorca Island, December 2017)

  • Public Speaking. University of Leeds. Addi gives various talks across the University of Leeds on the topic of Wellbeing as well as her own life story under the title 'My life | My rules' (Womens Leeds Network, Healthy Week Hero 2018 launch event, H&S Network etc.) 2018 

  • British Canoeing Female Paddling Ambassador  Mum is selected as one of British Canoeing's ten Women's Paddling Ambassadors. Chosen for their inspirational approach to paddlesport and their desire to share their love of the sport with others. Addi is on a mission to encourage more women to give the sport a go. (2018-2019)

  • 3 Lakes Challenge (British Canoeing.) Second lake: Windermere. Mum joined by her 72 yr-old friend Sue takes on Windermere (England) 11 miles. She paddles in a 20-yr-old slalom kayak for the first time. She spends a fair part at the start wobbling and spinning round in circles until she masters the art of paddling the old and feisty vessel. She names it: 'Back-from-the-dead-red' and finally the lake is been conquered in style. One lake left: Loch Awe, Scotland 24 miles. (August 2018)

  • Equality and Diversity 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. The committee aims to raise awareness, evaluate and review University policies. (May 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 involve activation opportunities, how to support existing workforce and future opportunities for development. (June 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. (July 2018) 

  • Water@Leeds (University of Leeds) Invited to talk at the Water@Leeds Confluence about next years summer paddling adventure, Addi hopes to put together a ‘University of Leeds Dream Team’ from diverse backgrounds with the ability to think outside the box and brave enough to challenge perceptions. (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)

  • NC500 (North Coast of Scotland) The North Coast 500 is a 516-mile scenic route around the north coast of Scotland, starting and ending at Inverness. In just 6 days Addi cycles it solo, carrying 25kg and wild camping along the way at sub-zero temperatures. A journey of self-discovery, new friendships and fun stories (28.12.18 - 2.1.19)

  • York University (Public Talk) Addi gives a talk about the TeamAA water-based adventures with a special focus on plastic pollution. 

(March 2019)

  • Wellbeing Achievement Award (University of Leeds, The Vice-Chancellor's Awards for Health and Safety 2019) 

Addi is nominated for the prestigious Wellbeing award that celebrates the exceptional inspiration, dedication and achievement in health and Wellbeing, at the University. This is in relation to the work she does with Wellbeing-pup to improve wellness for Staff and Students across the University of Leeds. (Results to be announced 26.11.2019)



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

  • Age 5, joins the local Gymnastics club.   

  • Age 5, runs her first 5km Parkrun; she continues to run and her PB today stands proudly at 32mins. 

  • Age 8, joins the Junior Athletics team.

  • 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. 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 ;)  (Wales, September 2015)

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

  • Yorkshire Schools, Trail and Athletics Races. Athina represents her school as part of their trail running and athletics team. (2016-2018)

  • LBT Junior Aquathlon. Athina takes part in her 1st Aquathlon. 150m swim followed by a 1200k run. In Athinas 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)​

  • Basketball Tournament. Athina's team represent her school year against other local schools and their team comes in first joint-place. Like Michael Jordan famously said: "Teamwork and intelligence wins championships." (November 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)

  • Swim Gala. Little lobster competes in her first swim gala (backstroke and front crawl.) She does a brand new PB in both and says she would like to race again! (July 2018)

  • National Geographic Kids Photo Competition. Little lobster is shortlisted for the iconic National Geographic competition, for the 'People' category. Results to be announced in December 2019.



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

by bike and joins the School of History (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 are welcome to take her for walks across the campus; these sessions prove extremely popular and she is well loved. Shadow attends many events withing the University, conferences, talks and open days. She's a valuable colleague with fab PR skills.  

  • LUU Bereavement session (Exam support) Shadow attends spreads some love and joy at the Union. A wonderful time playing and being stroked by the students attending the session. (University of Leeds) 

  • Salty Dog Shadow joins the Pirates of the Canal on her first paddling adventure across the Leeds-Liverpool canal.  She is often spotted across some canal, loch or river in a suspicious looking vessel. (March 2018)

  • Race for life 10k Run Shadow's first volunteering sporting event. She helps out at the finish line giving participants high-fives and plenty of cuddles (Harewood House, Leeds) 

  • First Summit Little pooch makes it up her very first summit! With no help at all and leaving everyone behind her she reaches Whernside, Yorkshire (736 m or 2,415 ft) (April, 2018) 

  • Total Warrior (Junior Warrior) Pooch high-fives all the kiddies whilst she volunteers with her humans at the climbing obstacles. The children are delighted to know that Shadow has special powers and she is transferring those to them :) (Leeds, June 2018)

  • Have fun reading to Shadow Hesitant children at primary schools across Leeds decide to give reading a go by reading a paragraph or two to a friendly pooch who promises not to interrupt and who listens attentively (Leeds, 2018) 

  • Agility Course. Pooch take part with 'Little Human' in her first agility course at the local Leeds canine show. She receives a pretty ribbon for taking part :) (September, 2018)