Hello and welcome to my website!
So who am I? I’m 36 years old and I work as a windsurfing coach.
Let me start by sharing a few details about my background: I hold a Bachelor in Business and Management and an MBA with specialisation in eBusiness. Why did I decide to study Business when I was 18? Growing up, I was an excellent student, so I was pushed by both my professors and parents towards something more “worthwhile” , something of “higher status” and with “better prospects for a career and a good salary” than physical education. I just couldn’t trust myself enough at the time. Nowadays, in my view, there is nothing more important than knowing how the human body works. Too bad I didn’t start to learn all these things earlier. Nevertheless, I see life as a “test & learn” process, and the truth is I gained a plethora of skills studying and working in business, marketing and technology. My favorite thing, the one thing I have been living for, all my 36 years, is sports. I have always had a talent for anything physical. I was a competitive swimmer during elementary school and played volleyball throughout my high school years. When I turned 21, the sport of windsurfing won me over. Only 5 years after picking up the sport, I started competing on a professional level in the World Championship of the PWA. My distinctions include ranking 5th overall PWA Wave in 2009 & 2011. I also hold the greek freestyle & greek wave championship title (ranked 1st woman and 5th in men) in 2009 & 2013.
My life was upset twice during my career as a windsurfing athlete: the first accident I had was in March 2010, when I sustained a quadruple fracture on the body of my C2 vertebra whilst training on the water. The second time, April 2014, I was hit by a vehicle whilst crossing the street. The bumper of that car hit me right under the knee and I sustained a 6th degree tibial plateau fracture on my right leg. Although this accident marked the end of my competitive aspirations it turned out to be a blessing, too. As we say in Greece, ill winds blow somebody (or somewhere) good! After several months in rehab/physiotherapy, I realised that my natural working environment is not a desk and a computer (although I still spend a significant amount of my time there); I became increasingly interested in learning how the human body works, decided to start coaching people in windsurfing and embarked on a new career to help people practice sports, maintain a healthy body, fight disease and reach their goals.
My first experience teaching windsurfing was in 2008, when I organised the first “girls windsurfing camp” in Greece, aiming to introduce more girls to the sport and inspire them to progress in windsurfing. Between 2008 – 2011, my girls camps had a total of 300 participants, a record number for Greece. I have a windsurf coach certification since 2011 and a total of 9 years experience teaching windsurfing.
The first step I took towards becoming a sports coach was quitting the world of business/technology and pursuing a personal trainer diploma in London in 2015. My experience as a professional windsurfer and windsurfing coach helped me a lot in this career transition. I completed this qualification a year later, with the realisation that the human body is so much more than “muscle groups” and the three metabolic energy systems. Human movement is so much more complicated and I want to get a deeper understanding of it. A “personal trainer” is by no means qualified to coach people in sports. Especially when it comes to children (who need proper development) or helping people perform their chosen sporting activity better and reducing the risk of injury or helping patients recover from injuries, personal training certifications are, simply put, not enough.
What am I up to now? Studying at the Faculty of Physical Education & Sport Science of the National & Kapodistrian University of Athens. My basic interests at the moment are: 1) understand human movement and human response & adaptation to exercise: sports biomechanics (muscular, joint and skeletal actions), exercise physiology and coaching methodology across different sports (gymnastics, swimming, track & field, handball, volleyball and so on). Most people who exercise can’t tell the difference between a coach who is “empirical” (i.e. coaches based on their experience) and a coach who is a scientist in their field. Who not only knows what to do, but why, and how. University of Athens has excellent coaches/scientists with years experience teaching and researching in their field and I am privileged to be their student. 2) Performance parameters across different sports, physical ability development in children (age related), injury prevention, rehabilitation. 3) Healthy development of young people through windsurfing. Coaching adults vs. coaching children is a totally different thing. Becoming a great coach in a sport doesn’t simply involve being able to teach the techniques of the sport. I strongly believe that sport contributes significantly to the holistic development of young people. I also believe that the younger a child is, the bigger the responsibility of the coach to teach them important values such as respect for themselves and others, teamwork and fair play, honesty and adherence to rules. I think that life-long participation in physical activity (and with it, long-term health of a person) needs to start early on.
This website is my space on the internet that will help me share my passion for sports with you and (hopefully) motivate you towards living a better life. It is full of information about me, how I can become your coach, what I am interested about and the events I am organising. It’s a place where you can get to know me better and follow my journey. I hope I’ll get to meet you one day!