4 March 2021

Working within the Adventure Sport Industry

We speak to Nick, who studied his Level 3 Adventure Education at Plumpton College and is now the Centre Manager at Hove Lagoon Water sports, where he shares his journey, his experiences and what he plans on doing next. 

Hi Nick, could you explain which course you studied and why you chose it?

I chose to study the BTEC Adventure Education Level 3 Programme at Plumpton College and I'll be honest it wasn't my first choice, I had originally started within the A Level route, I followed my friends without really knowing what I wanted to do but after a year of this I soon realised it wasn't for me. I had a decision to make to restart my A Level year or try something new and it was actually my mum who suggested the Adventure Education course at Plumpton, as I was already interested in some adventure sports and it seemed like a good idea and a much better use of my time and my interests. 

My mum actually suggested the Adventure Education course at Plumpton, as I was already interested in some adventure sports and it seemed like a good idea and a much better use of my time and my interests. 

What did you enjoy the most about the course?

I enjoyed the outdoor activities, in particular the expeditions in canoeing and kayaking, plus being within the South Downs we did a lot of hiking and mountain biking which was great. I also really enjoyed gaining some of those really useful soft skills, like building my confidence and team building skills. Plus being surrounded by people who have the same interests and passions as I did, it really made it enjoyable. 

I enjoyed the outdoor activities, in particular the expeditions in canoeing and kayaking, plus being within the South Downs we did a lot of hiking and mountain biking which was great.

What did you find the most challenging?

Not being very academic, I did find the academic part of the course challenge to start with, however because I was interested in what I was writing about this became easier and I felt I really overcame this challenge and built my confidence up. But I would definitely say going sailing in Scotland during February was the most challenging - You really had to dig deep to get through the weather! 

What is your current career and job role and what is involved?

I am currently Centre Manager at Hove Lagoon Water sports which involves... well, where do I start? 

In the Summer months it includes managing a large team of instructors for a wide range of courses in all different levels and occasions such as beginner lessons on the lagoon for windsurfing and the advanced lessons out on the sea. I also manage the Summer kids activities, which can get a bit chaotic, so I need to be able to manage my time and a lot of little children getting excited. At the Lagoon we also see a lot of Stag and Hen groups that come down for the weekend, so this needs to be managed as well. It's very busy throughout the Summer. 

In the winter months there is a lot more maintenance to get on with, DIY and improvements. I also work with a lot of community projects in the local area, such as charity groups, like the Wave Project and Surf Therapy Charity and also school groups coming to the lagoon to use the facilities to assist students with behavioural issues or mental health conditions. I also work with the Hove Surf Life Savers Club, which helps young children get sea awareness and life guarding skills. 

Also my job involves marketing and general promotion of the lagoon to keep it busy. There is a lot going on here and my job is always busy. 

How did you feel the course helped you get to where you are now?

It really helped me get my foot through the door into the adventure sport industry, because I came away from the course with a wide range of qualifications and useful skills. I left with a variety of interchangeable soft skills that are incredibly useful I think for any future career, such as being confident with leadership skills from working on all of my instructor qualifications. It is such a great course for anyone who, like me, was unsure on what they wanted to do straight from school, because you come away with these skills which are great!

It is such a great course for anyone who, like me, was unsure on what they wanted to do straight from school, because you come away with so many skills which are great!

What do you enjoy the most about your career?

 I would say what I enjoy the most is watching people break through personal challenges, watching their confidence and self-belief evolve. Watching them come through the door nervous and then watching them leave completely buzzed and super excited and chuffed with themselves. That is such a rewarding part of my job. 

Watching them come through the door nervous and then watching them leave completely buzzed and super excited and chuffed with themselves. That is such a rewarding part of my job. 

Do you have any new goals or ambitions within your career?

I am currently working on becoming a coach to help use the skills you learn from adventure sport activities and allow you to put them into everyday life challenges, by building up a resilience and creating more engagement and a real purpose to people‚Äôs lives. 

Do you have any advice for students thinking about studying Adventure Education and Sport?

If you are unsure on what you want to do with your future, I would definitely consider picking this course all day long, purely because of the experience you will gain, you will have the best two years and you come away from the course with a set of soft skills which are so incredibly useful to so many careers, such as confidence building, leadership skills, team building skills, and so many more. 

You also come away with such a wide variety of qualifications which will really help you progress and jump into a career within the adventure sport industry, it can also help you work abroad, which there is a huge demand for adventure instructors out there. 

You don't need any particular experience before you start, as long as enjoy getting outside and have a positive attitude you will fit right in. 


Next Steps...

Find out more on our Further Education Adventure Education and Sport Courses here. Also, if you have any questions book in an appointment with the Adventure Team during our Online College Information Event on Tuesday 16th March and Saturday 20th March. Visit events.plumpton.ac.uk to book. 

Category: Adventure Education & Sport

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