Sports students aspiring to work in education had the opportunity to get career ready thanks to an outdoor qualification offered by Liverpool Hope University.
Final year students from the BSc (Hons) Sport and Physical Education programme spent two days at Plas Caerdeon Outdoor Education Centre as they completed their Level One Hills Skills course.
This optional qualification is offered annually to all third year Sport and PE students and provides a grounding in map reading, planning routes and safety.
Students embarked on a 12km practice walk on day one, honing their navigation and planning skills ahead of an assessed 19km hike on day two when they put what they had learned into practice by taking charge of key leadership elements such as equipment planning and risk assessments.
Offering a number of personal development benefits, the course is considered particularly useful for anyone intending to pursue a career as a teacher.
That was Ellen Genower’s motivation for signing up and she feels gaining the qualification alongside her degree will help her achieve her aims moving forward.
“I want to go into secondary PE teaching so this provided an excellent opportunity to get more experience in an outdoor setting and stands me in good stead for the future,” she said.
“I learnt more about the health and safety aspects of outdoor adventure activities and how to safely take a group of young people out in the hills.
“I also learnt more about Hill Skills itself and how to confidently read a map and compass, allowing me to pass my knowledge onto other people in a group setting.
“I am now more aware of what I will need to do next to be able to teach as a Duke of Edinburgh instructor, which is something I am very interested in looking into.”
Plas Caerdeon is Hope’s stunning Snowdonia-based campus offering outdoor education experiences and residential outdoor activity courses - as well as academic reflection - for the benefit of University students and staff.
Set in 18 acres of private, secluded woodlands, it’s perfectly placed to offer adventure in some of the UK’s most stunning landscapes.
This was Ellen’s second visit and it has proven to be a valuable and much-loved resource over the course of her studies.
“I went at the start of my second year and absolutely loved it,” she added.
“I thoroughly enjoyed this experience, too. The members of staff at Plas Caerdeon are fantastic, and I am grateful I had the opportunity to take part in this course.”
Assistant Head of the School of Health and Sport Sciences, Professor Caroline Wakefield, echoed Ellen’s views and feels those who took part will have enhanced their career prospects.
“We had such an amazing time at Caerdeon,” she said.
“The students worked really well as a group, challenged themselves, and have developed invaluable skills that will undoubtedly benefit their progression into the world of work.
“The team at Caerdeon worked with us brilliantly to plan a programme that was right for our subject and our needs.
“I would encourage any student or staff member to take up the opportunity to go and experience this wonderful resource - there is something there for everyone."