Connections - Newsletter
No.1. September 2006
Breaking News - Climbing Wall
A new £30,000.00 climbing wall is to be constructed in the Sports Hall and should be up and running by February 2007. King Kong Climbing Walls have won the contract to build a multi-purpose wall that will cater for the abilities and interests of all groups. Features on the wall include a hinged slab for novices and young children, an overhanging section to push the rock kings and queens, a ledge for abseiling, prussic and SRT work and an 11m low level traverse of varying difficulties. The wall will be a substantial addition to our on-site facilities and will be available for students’ recreational use as well as supporting curriculum learning, community development programmes and the delivery of skills training workshops.
Perhaps the worst kept secret within the School these last few months is that Bill Beynon has agreed to join our staff on a full time basis. Bill (as many of you know) brings with him a wealth of experience and an unmatched enthusiasm for learning outdoors. His professionalism and knowledge of the outdoor industry will help to ensure that students are well prepared to take forward their careers.
First MA Outdoor Education in Wales
We are especially pleased to be starting the first postgraduate MA Outdoor Education degree to be run in Wales. Eight full time and 5 five part time students are registered for the degree which begins in October 2006. No other university in Wales can match the academic profile of Trinity in this subject area and underlines its commitment to raising the standards of academic understanding and professional development in outdoor learning.
As part of their studies postgraduate students will be helping to organise the IOL Research Forum on 14 March 2007. This important event is designed to bring together researchers from all over the UK to share their respective interests and research in Outdoor Education. More details of this event can be found on the COES webpage.
As usual third year students organised and led a wonderful array of different and enjoyable expeditions as part of their final year studies. Notable examples include Sonia Simpson’s week exploring the River Teifi in Canadian Canoes, Jeff Bond’s expedition over Helveylan and Striding Edge in the Lake District, Ellie Morgan’s exploration of feminist leadership theory in Snowdonia and Sarah Gully’s innovative base camp exploration of serendipity and the individual learning experience of expedition participants.
Graduates – the class of 2006
We say goodbye and good luck to year three, most (but not all) of whom are spreading their wings and departing Trinity. Congratulations to Ellie, Hefin and Jeff who have secured instructor/leader positions at Nant Bwlch yr Haearn (Conway Centre), Glan Llyn (Lake Bala) and Actual Reality (Argyle, Scotland) respectively. Likewise, to Jonathon on his freelance role in mid-Wales and to Stuart who will be joining the Royal Marines in September, and maintaining the strong link between this most prestigious and demanding military unit and Outdoor Education at Trinity. Congratulations are also due to Emma and Sian who will be undertaking postgraduate teacher training courses at Strathclyde University and UWIC whilst Sarah and Jim have been accepted onto the postgraduate MA Outdoor Education course here at Trinity. Finally, this brief insight into the future would not be complete without mention of Lena who will be following her adventure tourism interests on the MA Tourism degree also at Trinity and Sonea who will be embarking on her new career as sales and marketing officer for Adventure Peaks in the Lake District.
Photograph: L to R - Graduates from the School of Sport, Health and Outdoor Education: Stuart Elks, Ashley Alsop and Jeff Bond.
Graduation – First! First! First!
It his hard to express in words the pride and satisfaction that were felt by all SHOE staff on the graduation of the 2003-2006 cohort of students. Particular mention needs to be drawn to the outstanding achievements of Emma Traynor, Sian Roberts and Sarah Gully, who all gained First Class Honours degrees This is the first time students studying Outdoor Education have gained the very highest undergraduate degree classification and speaks volumes for their enthusiasm and application to their studies over the last three years. These young women have set the standard for all other students and in particular, to the men, to rise to the challenge and match their wonderful achievements.
Many students took advantage of the professional development opportunities offered by the College over the last twelve months including twelve year 1 students who Successfully completed their ML & SPA training courses throughout the year and ten who completed the Kayak level 2 coach training. We are indebted to Bill Beynon & Gareth Bryant who bring to these courses not only a wealth of professional experience and an unfaltering love for being in the natural world but also a un- matched networking web that has allowed these students to access gainful, paid employment locally and internationally. For example, Liz Collyer at Dynamic Rock, Kat Talbot with World Challenge in Africa, Laura Mills, Jason Rees and Jonathon Sparke with Morfa Bay Adventures and Itamar Cohn as an expedition leader in South America. Their example shows clearly the immediate return that comes from investing in your own professional development and the governing body schemes if you are interested in extending your own skills, working with groups, getting adventurous and being paid at the same time.
Telemark University (Norway) – New International Exchange Opportunity
We are delighted to announce the opportunity for second year students to undertake a semester long study exchange at Telemark University in Norway. Situated at the beautiful Bo campus (two hours south west of the capital Oslo) the exchange programme offers students the chance to study and experience the Scandanavian approach to outdoor education, more commonly understood as frulistlev. Students taking part in the exchange undertake classes in English and have the opportunity to experience extended expeditions (on foot, by canoe and under sail) on and around the world famous Hardanger Plateau. In addition, the exchange offers adventurous students the chance to visit the western fjords, see the northern lights and experience the midnight sun. You will even have the chance to get in some cross-country (Langlauf) or Telemark skiing towards the end of the semester but watch out for moose eating apples in the autumn!
Everest Base Camp & other expeditions
Over the summer recess staff have been busy planning a series of expeditions and field trips to support and extend students knowledge and skills. Top of the list must go the 18 day expedition being led by Dave Nutt to Mt. Everest Base Camp in Nepal over Easter 2007. Dave is a highly experienced Himalayan mountaineer and definitely a man to listen to if the going gets tough!
Not far behind Everest Base Camp, Bill Beynon is planning a trip to the springtime sun of southern Spain/Sardinia for a weeks sun-drenched rock climbing. Clear skies, bomb-proof rock and the security of sports climbing routes suggest he is going to have more interest than he can cope with. On the water ‘Happy days’ are here again with a river running French extravaganza led by Gareth Bryant and a guarantee of waves to push your skills with an occasional bottle of red wine, French bread & cheese to provide an authentic cultural experience.
In contrast, if you like your culture black, poured slowly with a cream head and a shamrock you might be interested Andy’s climbing & surfing trip to Donegal in north-west Ireland. Lets also not forget climbing in the Peak District, on the hills of Brecon, Cader Idris and Snowdonia and the waves of Pembrokeshire and Cardiganshire, never mind the local rivers (Cothi, Teifi, Gwilli, Towy, Taf), climbing venues (Gower, Pembs, Cardigan), local caves... hills...
3 I’s lecture series – interesting, informative and inspirational!
After the success of last years lectures we are really pleased to announce a varied and eclectic programme for 2006/7:
Adventures in Nepal
Freestyle Kayaking with the British Team
Outdoor Learning in Norway – a personal account of a semester studying in Norway
White water rafting on the Zambezi
Changes to the degree
The staff who work on the Outdoor Education degree programme believe we offer the students the best higher education programme of its kind in Wales and equal to any similar programme anywhere in the UK. This is not based on arrogance or egocentricism but on our genuine love of the outdoors, our belief in the value of experiential learning and our desire to take on board new ideas & practices in order to improve our own knowledge and skills. In bringing these principles to our work we are really looking forward to welcoming Alison Connaghton and Dr. Glenda Tinney onto our team. Alsion will be leading the second year module (OE502 – Psychology of Adventure) with its focus on understanding the concept of adventure and how it is experienced by different individuals. She is particularly keen to gauge students’ responses to being underground in a cave, upside down in a kayak and solo camping in the mountains. Glenda’s work (TO531-Issues in Conservation & OE503 Impacts of Outdoor Recreation) approaches the outdoors from a different but equally important perspective in raising questions about the impact of our practice upon the natural world and the need to develop environmentally sustainable approaches to our fieldwork.
Exploring the potential of Outdoor Education and making it more accessible and inclusive are important aspects of the work of all Outdoor Education staff. Staff are encouraged to link research to practice in ensuring their teaching is as up-to-date and relevant as possible. Examples of the work undertaken in 2006 by staff are:
- Academic paper presented at the Third International Outdoor Education Conference in Penrith, England.
- Academic paper presented at the Annual Research Day at Trinity College,
- Book chapter in the publication ‘Shaping the Outdoor Profession through Higher Education’.
- Article in the Journal Horizons.
- Article in the Proceedings of the Third International Outdoor Education Conference held at the University of Central Lancashire.
Skills Development Programme
In order to provide on-going support to students we will be running both the Mountain Skills and River Kayak Development Programmes in semesters 1 and 2 (2007). The Mountain Skills programme is available to any student who has completed their ML Training course and wishes to develop their mountain skills in preparation for the ML Assessment course. The programme will run one day a week (and overnights) for each week of both semesters. Likewise, the River Kayak programme will be offered in both semesters through our partnership agreement with the regional centre for canoeing at Llandysul Paddlers. The cost for either programme is £50.00 per semester. Beat that anywhere if you can! A similar programmes in rock climbing is being planned for semester 2 so watch this space
A number of funding bids have been developed in order to introduce different community groups to outdoor learning. These programmes will be based at the campus to take advantage of the on-site facilities and will include local activity days and expeditions. Students wishing to develop their facilitation and group working skills will be invited to work on these programmes as part of their continued professional development. Current local initiatives with Carmarthenshire Youth services focus on mountain biking and sailing as vehicles for social inclusion, active lifestyles and environmental awareness.
A few common words and phrases to help you to better understand the landscape and culture of Wales:
Tops and Bottoms
Size and colour
|gwaelod||foot of hill|
Life isn’t a spectator sport it’s an adventure. (Unknown)
And finally... this newsletter is as much yours as it is the outdoor team. If there is anything you wish to be included just email AW and he will do his best to include it before the next printing deadline.