Shropshire paraglider on cloud nine after featuring on magazine cover

A south Shropshire paraglider is on cloud nine after featuring on the front cover of an industry magazine.

Sian Leavesley of Leavesley Aviation Paragliding School in Bishops Castle, has been featured on the front cover of this month's edition of "Skywings" magazine. Photo: Mark Leavesley
Sian Leavesley of Leavesley Aviation Paragliding School in Bishops Castle, has been featured on the front cover of this month's edition of "Skywings" magazine. Photo: Mark Leavesley

When Sian Leavesley's husband Mark took a quick picture of her paragliding on top of the Long Mynd one day before lockdown, they thought it brilliantly showed the thrill of the sport.

But the Bishop's Castle based couple didn't expect it to become the front cover photo of the latest edition of the 'Skywings' magazine.

Sian, 49, loves her sport and loves the chance to show other women and young girls that they can paraglide and fall in love with taking to the skies.

Sian Leavesley of Leavesley Aviation Paragliding School is featured on the front cover of this month's edition of "Skywings" magazine

"I couldn't believe it when I saw the cover," she said.

"It will be five years this May I have been flying for. Mark has been flying for years and has done competitions and built himself a name.

"I had always wanted to do it but wanted to wait until my two daughters were a bit older.

"Paragliding is the type of sport where you really have to commit with your time. Me learning how to do it coincided with Mark starting his own school, so I was his first student and the first to pass.

"I loved it so much and was running my own cleaning business when Mark became inundated and really busy that I gave up my job to help. "It turned out I was out with them all when he was teaching all the time, so I became an instructor as well."

Sian Leavesley. Photo: Mark Leavesley

Sian and Mark, 51, have been married for 27 years and have two daughters together, aged 21 and 25. Last year they welcomed a granddaughter into the family.

Sian said it is really important to her to get more women into the sport and she hopes the magazine cover will inspire others.

"Mark has years of experience and people come to the school because of his name he has built up over the years, but with me I am more new so when people have lessons and are nervous, I can understand," she said.

"I can remember feeling like that. We are getting a lot more women involved and I think they prefer to know a woman is teaching them as well.

"We have about four or five women that have lessons or have passed and become pilots. It's really important for me to get more women into paragliding."

Find out about Leavesley Aviation at www.leavesleyaviation.com/ and www.youtube.com/user/leavesleyaviation.

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.

Top Stories

More from the Shropshire Star

UK & International News