I have always been sporty, and wanted to continue from school into 6th form for my A levels in chemistry, biology, geology and PE.
I found studying for my GCSEs stressful and the thought of continuing to study in that environment daunted me.
Although I had already accepted my place at 6th form, I decided to search online for sport courses. I had no idea if a course in this area existed, and was excited to find the Sport & Adventure Education Department at Plumpton College; I immediately applied!
I don’t have an agricultural background and so I wasn’t sure if I would be accepted onto the course. The course tutors were really helpful with the process and explained that this was not a requirement. The first time I visited Plumpton College was on my first day of the course. We went on a camping day on the estate to get to know everyone. I told my friends from my previous school about my brilliant first day, and couldn’t wait to go back.
Since then, the course has been full of incredible opportunities including the chance to go on expeditions. Last year I went to Sweden wild camping. We had to navigate sailing on a lake with 40 islands to camp on. This was a tough challenge and tested my navigation skills around rocks in the water and surviving with people under difficult conditions; we had no toilet or showers,1 bag and a set of clothes!
We also go on UK based trips including residential visits to Plumpton College’s out-centre in Snowdonia two to three times a year. It’s a great chance to put the theoretical skills from in the classroom into practice in the outdoor environment.
A typical day as a sport and adventure education student can including anything from a navigation day on the South Downs to risk assessments for outdoor activities. We have practical sessions once a week alternating between land (mountain biking, climbing and hiking) and water (Kayaking, Canoeing and Sailing) sports. I have taken the opportunity to study extra units such as environmental science to further my academic study. There’s also the chance to achieve additional qualifications. I have gained my level 1 paddle sport and first aid training. Although I hadn’t tried water sports when I started the course, I have been part of the college sailing academy at Newhaven and Seaford Sailing Club for a year and a half, sailing every week. I will be taking my Dinghy Instructors Course at the end of this year which will enable me to teach sailing when I finish my studies.
The teaching staff here have ensured that I leave Plumpton College with a career goal in mind. I’m now in my final year and have been accepted onto a trainee programme for when I finish this summer with TrekCo. I will continue my training and can’t wait to teach sports such as climbing, mountain biking and paddling.
Beth Sugden, Level 3 extended diploma in Sport & Adventure Education (year 2 student)
A monthly roundup from students studying at Plumpton College.
To find out more about the courses at Plumpton College, visit www.plumpton.ac.uk, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01273 980454.