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I’m an outdoor instructor and mountain bike coach currently based out of Auckland, New Zealand.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to contact me regarding freelance outdoor instructor services. I have a strong, lasting passion for outdoor education combined with long experience and skill sets in mountain biking, high ropes, swiftwater rescue, kayak & canoe, bushwalking, climbing and abseil. I’m interested in interesting work opportunities doing interesting work.
My outdoor story started in the Sea Scouts when I was 10. During the summer we went canoeing every Friday evening. When I was 18 I asked myself the question “what do I want to do?” At that point I was paddling regularly with a local canoe club and helping with a local Cub Scout pack. I figured I was a reasonably good canoeist and I liked working with young people, “I know” I said to myself, “I’ll be a canoeing instructor”
So I did!
Within a month or so I found myself working at PGL’s main canoeing centre, Court Farm, on the Wye, near Ross-on-Wye. The day I started in 1988 was definitely a pivotal moment in my life. I found my vocation and met my community.
Being part of the outdoor community has been and continues to be pretty awesome. I started climbing and mountain biking in 1988 and the journey has taken me all over the world.
All over the UK & Europe (particularly the Ardeche, the French Alps and Provence), I lived in London for 3 years, kayaked and climbed in South Africa and Zimbabwe, moved to North Wales mountain biking, climbing, and kayaking a lot worked in retail, manufacturing, distribution, outdoor education, overseas expeditions, and instructor training. I lead youth expeditions to Honduras, India, Ecuador, Uganda, Bowron Lakes in Canada, Kenya & Peru. I did a couple of post-monsoon seasons safety kayaking in Nepal (Bhote Kosi, Marshiandi, Sun Kosi, Tamur), canoe/kayak expeditions to Iran (first descent of the Karun) and the Mountain River in Canada’s Northern Territories (achieved a lifetime ambition to fly into the top of a river, land on a lake and paddle out. 21-day wilderness journey with bears and wolves in our campsites most nights, awesome).
In 2009 I took a 3 month contract to do adventure training for the UAE Military and stayed for 6 years. The UAE provided lots of adventures with amazing sea kayaking, mountain biking, climbing and surf. I did the first complete circumnavigation of Musendam (including crossing the isthmus), mountain biked at Showka most weekend helping develope about 80km of technical single track there at the base of the Hajar, found fat bikes worked in the dunes leading to the first crossings of the Liwa, part of the Empty Quarter, learned to ride motor bikes in the sand leading to me participating in the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge (and breaking my leg twice in quick succession). I learnt to surf and we had reguar weekend trips to Oman in the summer as well as a trip to Sri Lanka. I was involved in a project to build an Olympic standard white water river in one of the driest places on earth and got to put together a team with a World Champion squirt boater (Ben) and one of the worlds leading expedition kayakers (Daz) to design a river bed.
Then I fell in love and married a Kiwi. In 2016 we moved to Sydney, Australia where we became part of the mountain bike community. We rode our bikes a lot on the outstanding, steep, technical trail networks both North and South of the city. We traveled to New Zealand regularly riding our bikes on both the North and South Island including competing every year at Crankworx Rotorua. We also rode regularly and competed on some of the world-class trail networks in Eastern Australia including Derby (Tasmania), Thredbo & Stromlo.
I explored the east coasts coast line in my sea kayak with its powerful swell and amazing sandstone cliffs archtecture. Despite the on going drought conditions I even did some white water paddling on the Barrington and an epic, snow melt induced, high water version of the Snowy Extreme Kayak Race.
I worked in various sectors of the outdoor industry eventually landing one of the industry’s most sought after roles of 2019 as a Staff Development Coach for the Outdoor Education Group. Our small team was responsible for delivering staff training programmes Australia-wide and I was involved in mountain biking, high ropes, swiftwater rescue, canoe journey, bushwalking, climbing and abseil instructor training programme delivery as well as leading the remoter less supported client programmes and providing technical support roles.
In 2020 COVID 19 smashed into everyone’s lives, it feels like lots of things have been turned upside down and shaken. Outdoor instructional work came to a sudden and complete standstill everywhere and I was stood down without pay from my role at OEG. To give ourselves some kind of financial resilience we quickly took a decision to head to New Zealand to ride out this storm and see how things panned out.
When we moved to Sydney it was only supposed to be a stepping stone on our end goal which was NZ so we have now used this situation as an opportunity to realise that goal.
I’m now working as a freelance outdoor instructor based out of Auckland. My diary is filling up for the rest of the year with work from a variety of providers including Bigfoot Adventures, MERC (Sir Peter Blake Marine Education and Recreation Centre), AdventureWorks, and Kokako Lodge. I’m also setting up a mountain bike coaching service seekerbikes.com aimed at individuals and small groups delivering highly personalised skills coaching and guiding. These will run in the Redwoods Rotorua and Auckland venues Totara Park or Woodhill.
I’m very happy to be continuing this adventure here in New Zealand