Education can be adventure

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LOVERS of the great outdoors aged between 16 and 25 may be interested in the government’s latest recruitment drive.

The Department of Education and Children’s adventure education section of the youth service is looking to take on assistant instructors, to be based at Ardwhallan and run outdoor activity courses for young people aged 13 and over, and pick up outdoor education qualifications as they do it.

An informal selection weekend takes place on November 12 and 13, for the available roles that will develop canoeing, rock climbing, kayaking and sailing skills, and also provide experience in dealing with large groups of young people.

Activities for last year’s recruits included helping to run nights for youth clubs, assisting with the Paddle Sport and Sailing Club, helping at adventure weeks held during the school summer holidays and attending the Royal Manx Agricultural Show and the Mannifest music festival with the youth service’s eight-metre portable climbing wall.

In return each of them received Royal Yachting Association powerboat training, learned first aid, gained a children safeguarding certificate and a bronze medallion lifesaving award.

Of the school of 2010, Emma Diamond will now work at an activity centre in the UK, hoping to become a full-time instructor. Naemie Wilson is travelling to Canada to become a ski instructor. Liam Wiltshire is at university studying media. Others will stay on the island and continue to help out at Ardwhallan.

Josh Rowlands and Patrick Creer were trainees in 2009 and have returned as trainee instructors to help coach this year’s intake.

Having gained a broad experience on their initial one-year course, Josh and Patrick have since specialised in paddlesports and mountain biking respectively.

Patrick is now starting a degree in sports science and outdoor education at Bangor University.

Josh is hoping to go to Bangor University to do environmental science next year and has just started a full-time volunteer position at Ardwhallan for his gap year, which is supported by the Golden Jubilee Trust and the Ardwhallan Trust.

If you want to participate in the selection weekend, phone Paul Melling, head of outdoor centres for the DEC, on 407549 or Jenny Lantry, outdoor education worker, on 375213.

Paul said: ‘The team are a great example of young people getting involved, being positive role models and encouraging other young people to access, enjoy and explore. I hope they continue to inspire others.’

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