Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Outdoor congress attracts stellar line-up

This year's European Outdoor Summit (EOS2015) is shaping up to be an unmissable event, with an exciting line-up of motivational speakers, engaging break-out sessions and workshops already announced.

UCLan Outdoors Senior Lecturer Dr Mark Hickman has accepted an invitation to deliver a keynote speech at the conference, along with Professor Colin Beard of Sheffield Hallam University.

Dr Hickman will look at the need for a focused social gerontology of the outdoors to help understand how the ageing population uses adventure sports and outdoor activities, and how this impacts on the ageing process.

His presentation follows on from an appearance at the recent International Adventure Conference where Dr Hickman, along with colleagues Allison Inkster and Helen Hooper, delivered separate papers on the same subject.

Former UK Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg tops an impressive list of speakers, with Professor Greg Whyte from The Centre for Health & Human Performance and Public Health England's Health Dr Justin Varney also set to take part in the three-day event.

EOS2015 takes place at Sheffield Hallam University on 13-15 October. For more information please click here.

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Outdoor experts accept conference invite

Dr Loel Collins (left) and Chris Eastabrook have been invited to take part in a showpiece national coaching event.

The UCLan Outdoors duo will deliver presentations at The British Canoeing Coach Conference 2015 to be held in Crewe later this year.

Themed 'The Multidimensional Role of a Coach', the event will bring together coaches from across the paddlesport disciplines to explore the different parts a coach plays in the development of their paddlers.

The conference takes place 21-22nd November - for further details please click here.

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Staff tackle epic canoe challenge

UCLan Outdoors staff undertook an arduous canoe expedition in Northern Canada during August.

Loel Collins, Simon Allfree, Chris Eastabrook, Andy Hall and Karl Midlane encountered polar bears, beluga whales, moose, eagles and white water in a 700 mile, 23 day expedition up the South Indian Lake in Northern Manitoba via the Seal River system, to Churchill on the Hudson Bay coast.

They paddled, hauled, lined and portaged their fully-loaded canoes for three days before moving over the water shed, via the historic Keskamutinawok Portage, into the South Seal River.

After 10 days on the South Fork, a system of exposed lakes and difficult white water, the team reached the confluence with the North Seal and continued towards Hudson Bay.

The lower Seal drops north from the Canadian Shield, onto the Arctic tundra through a series of long and technically challenging rapids and massive lakes that lead to the coast. The team eventually entered the complex river delta before returning to Churchill Township.

UCLan Outdoors would like to thank Palm Equipment International and Equal Adventure - both long-standing research and innovation partners - and the Cree First Nation for their assistance.

Monday, 21 September 2015

Outdoors students deliver Welcome Week activities



UCLan Welcome Week saw huge numbers of students attending our Frontier Education courses across the Preston area.

Undergraduates from our Outdoor Leadership and Adventure Sports Coaching programmes gained valuable experience delivering team building and problem solving sessions.

Setting tasks and conducting reviews allowed the students to learn the value of feedback, become more confident asking for help or understanding a plan, and undertake a review cycle that will help them complete assignments and get to grips with their degree.

The students had the opportunity to work alongside our experienced associate staff, who are some of the leading practitioners in outdoor education. They offered assistance and allowed students to bounce ideas off them during and after each session.

In addition to gaining valuable work experience the sessions helped the students put into context the theory learned during lectures, thus improving their understanding whilst challenging existing ideas.

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Top-up course proves popular choice

The Blended Outdoor Leadership top-up degree teaching team are looking forward to working with our new intake of students.

The part-time course, designed by practitioners for practitioners, is run by Helen Hooper, Rosemary Powell and Keith McGregor, and is delivered over an 18 month period.

Modules are taught one at a time, with each module having two weekends of teaching.

Recent graduate Danny Morgan highly recommends the programme: "It is a hugely varied and interesting course. The assignments are well spaced over the period of the course, meaning the workload never gets too high.

"Rosemary and Helen are very experienced, passionate and helpful lecturers who will get the best out of you."

If you are interested in joining us you can start in January or September, or simply do one module as CPD.

The modules include:
  • Leadership and Change
  • Sustainable Outdoor Practice
  • Performance Coaching
  • Personal Emotional and Social Development in Outdoor Activites
  • Conditioning for Adventure Sports
  • Single Research Project
For further information please email Rosemary Powell or Helen Hooper.

Friday, 11 September 2015

UCLan Outdoors team enjoy busy summer

The UCLan Outdoors team have had a hectic few weeks preparing for the new academic year.

In addition to taking part in the International Adventure Conference at Sheffield Hallam University and carrying out staff training in North Wales, the team have enjoyed a variety of experiences to further enhance their knowledge of the outdoors.

Rosemary Powell spent time canoeing and surfing on the west coast of Ireland, sailing at Rhosneigr in Wales and also pulling up an invasive species (Himalayan Balsam) on nature reserves.

Helen Hooper instructed cavers from South Wales Caving Club (SWCC) and Reading University Caving Club in Single Rope Technique (SRT) and rigging skills, and took part in a caving expedition to Dent de Crolles in the French Alps with SWCC.

Helen also conducted a research study with older females from North Yorkshire (aged 60 and above), looking at the benefits of exposure to new challenges in older adulthood.

Keith McGregor climbed the north face of the Piz Badile on the border between Switzerland and Italy. Tackling the mountain by the difficult Cassin VI+ route it took Keith 10 hours to reach the summit, but 12 hours to descend due to the complex nature of route finding.

He also travelled to the Dolomites in Italy to climb the north face of the Cima Grande, but had to abandon the attempt due to extreme cold weather conditions. Keith had better luck on the south east face of Tofana Di Rozes, reaching the summit and back in six hours.

Loel Collins had a more relaxing time, witnessing the Northern Lights, listening to Loons, paddling with whales and seeing the biggest land dwelling carnivore on the planet.

Chris Gunn visited Oberstdorf in Bavaria, enjoying a variety of outdoor and adventure sports, while Alli Inkster worked on a research project with sea kayakers looking at active ageing.

New team member Alice Mees led a group of teenagers on an expedition to Morocco where they successfully summited Mount Toubkal. She also spent a week working with the ASNI association, rebuilding damaged roads in the community and learning about traditional Berber culture.

With these new experiences under their belts, the team are now back on campus and ready to welcome new and returning students to UCLan.