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Showing posts from 2014

Outdoor Leadership top-up by Blended Learning course

The UCLan Outdoors team have a blended version of their top-up course which is aimed at practitioners working in the outdoor industry. The course is part-time, delivered at weekends and is supported by online teaching resources and tutorials.

The programme has been designed to match the requirements of full-time industry professionals in a wide range of outdoor industry employment, being student-centred and applying learning to the industry in conjunction with the relevant academic perspective.

The ethos of the programme is to consider how engagement with the theoretical aspect of the subject can inform, challenge and support practice.

This usually takes two years and offers a unique opportunity to engage in academic study in a practical manner, whilst providing you the opportunity to learn with other practitioners in the industry, sharing ideas and developing a new community of practice.

Modules can also be attended individually to be used as continuing professional development, or a…

Students support GB team's championship preparations

UCLan Outdoor undergraduates have been helping the Great Britain Masters Raft Team prepare for the World Championships 2015.

The group of second year students have been collecting data to investigate the most efficient paddling technique in a white water raft.

For more information about the GB Masters Raft Team please click here.

UCLan teams up with top mountain sports centre

UCLan students will benefit from practical lessons with one of the country's top providers of outdoor adventure activities, following a partnership agreement with Plas y Brenin, the National Mountain Sports Centre, to help deliver some of its sports and outdoor courses.

This unique partnership between UCLan and the Sport England National Centre means UCLan students studying on the outdoor leadership and adventure sports coaching degrees will benefit from the expertise of staff from Plas y Brenin, as well as that of staff at UCLan, in one of the UK's most popular outdoor activity locations.

A combination of UCLan and Plas y Brenin staff will jointly deliver a range of modules at the National Centre in Snowdonia that develop the students' practical, coaching and leadership skills. This includes mountaineering, rock climbing, white water kayaking, sea kayaking, mountain-biking and canoeing.

In addition, the University's Institute of Coaching and Performance will work clos…

Slovenian adventure boosts learning experience

UCLan Outdoors student Jonathan Bradley spent two weeks whitewater kayaking on the River Soca, Slovenia, earlier this year.

He was joined by around 20 first and second year Outdoor Leadership and Adventure Sports Coaching undergraduates, who travelled across Europe for a course designed to enhance their learning experience.

Jonathan has kindly provided us with a blog about the trip:

The Soca Valley offers stunning scenery: 2000m peaks covered in pine forests and capped with snow rise above the valley floor, whilst the River Soca winds its way through the valley like a turquoise ribbon, crystal clear and sparkling under the sun.

We set up camp right next to the river in a small town south of Bovec, which would serve as our base camp for the trip. The plan for the duration of our stay was to paddle different sections of the Soca, starting with easy Grade 1/2 sections before progressing onto harder 2/3 and 3/4 sections of the river.

The coaches that joined and guided us on the trip were…

Frontier Education Programme

The Frontier Education Programme aims to facilitate personal development and promote learning in the outdoors.

Members of the SSTO Outdoor team deliver the programme for UCLan in a number of locations, including Snowdonia National Park, North Wales.

The programme is primarily a chance for students to get to know others on their course and develop a course identity. It provides them with the opportunity to experience and really understand the value of team work and supporting their peers to achieve a goal. This helps with future group tasks or assignments, whilst also assisting each other with the challenges faced on their course.

Students can explore ‘Team roles’, to understand what their preferred roles are and those of their fellow team members. Students also develop key employability skills including communication, decision making, problem-solving and leadership skills. Activities include canoeing, gorge waking, climbing and abseiling.

Sports Coaching and Development undergraduat…

Mountain stars set for UCLan visit

Two of the world's top mountain athletes are coming to UCLan to showcase the virtues of Mountaineering, Climbing and the Greater ranges Sherpa.

Kenton Cool and Neil Gresham will deliver lectures and host a discussion about mountaineering and rock climbing.

The event, organised by Preston Mountaineering Club, will follow an early evening of climbing masterclasses at West View Leisure Centre featuring Neil and Ed Hamer.

The purpose of the evening is to help raise awareness and monies for the Paldorje Education Fund. This provides much-needed head-start scholarships to less fortunate Sherpa children in Nepal.

The event takes place on Friday, 31 October, 2014. For more information, including booking details, please click here.

Congratulations to our Top-up graduates

Well done to everyone who recently graduated from our Blended Outdoor Leadership Top-Up degree.

The programme is aimed at practitioners who work in the outdoor industry, and our graduates have studied part-time for two years to achieve the degree.

The course is delivered on weekends, one module at a time, and supported with online learning and elearn tutorial sessions.

The graduates have studied topics such as Leadership and Change, Conditioning for Adventure Sports, Performance Coaching and Sustainable Outdoor Practice.

We have a new cohort each year, so the current cohort will soon be joined by our new intakes of students. For more information please click here. Alternatively you can email Course Leaders Rosemary Powell or Helen Hooper.

Lodge hosts welcome week activities

First year undergraduates visited a local outdoor education centre as part of their induction week programme.

The group took part in a team building trip to Hothersall Lodge in the Ribble Valley, where they enjoyed a range of outdoor activities designed to whet their appetites for the months ahead.

Hothersall offers students the chance to gain experience and National Governing Body qualifications throughout their time on the UCLan Outdoors programme.

For more information about the Lodge please click here.

A new academic year begins!

UCLan Outdoors staff are back from their summer vacations and are looking forward to the new acdemic year.

Our team have been busy widening their knowledge of the outdoors, with staff trekking in Morocco and Corsica, undertaking Kayaking expeditions in North Wales and Canoeing in the Scottish Highlands.

We hope our new and returning students enjoy a productive year. If you haven't already done so, please follow us on Twitter @UClanOutdoors for regular updates and news stories from around the Division.

Graduate continues his personal development

UCLan is recognised for its outstanding course provision which gives students the skills, knowledge, and personal attributes necessary to succeed at the University and in their future careers.

Adventure Sports Coaching graduate Karl Domeracki has enjoyed a variety of experiences since leaving UCLan. We spoke to Karl to find out more:

"I currently volunteer as a climbing instructor at West View Leisure Centre, Preston, and train with Liverpool University Officer Training Corps which has provided me with a unique challenge. I've completed various military exercises, community projects and adventure training including an eight day skiing expedition in Les Contamines, France, and a nine day sailing exercise in The Baltic Sea.

"I'll be taking part on exercise 'Airborne Student', an intense week consisting of the Paratroopers' gruelling selection process. Following this I'll do my ML training at Tyn Dwr in Llangollen, North Wales.

"This summer I've …

Students embark on Canadian expedition

A group of UCLan Outdoors undergraduates are set to travel to Canada as part of their BA (Hons) Outdoor Leadership course.

Second year students Hannah Smith, Luke Duckworth, Robin Naylor, Callum Munnelly and Ben Henderson will tackle 16 days of extreme subartic weather conditions in Kluane National Park.

Hannah said: "I'm really excited about what's in store for us. It's going to be a fantastic experience and one which will test us to our physical and mental limits. It's mandatory for our course that we take part in an expedition of at least four nights, but we decided to go all out.

"We've done lots of research and training to make sure we're as prepared as possible and we've had great support from the UCLan."

Along with the physical and mental endurance needed for this expedition, the group will collect data for their dissertations. Throughout the trip they will carry and drag their basic survival equipment, including camping gear and 16 da…

A letter from Professor Lynn Anderson

New York State University's Professor Lynn Anderson recently took part in our public debate - 'Access v the Environment - where do you draw the line?'

Professor Anderson has kindly sent a letter about her time with us in Preston: "I write to formally thank you for the wonderful opportunity to visit the University of Central Lancashire as a part of the Distinguished Visitor Programme. I very much enjoyed meeting with faculty, staff, and especially students as a part of my visit to your campus.

"I was impressed with the Outdoor students who attended several of the sessions I presented during the week. The students had interesting ideas and stimulating contributions to discussions, as well as thought-provoking questions.

"I felt there was great benefit comparing and contrasting our fields of study between our two countries, both for the students and for myself and other faculty. I was pleased to see the large number of students who attended the public talk I g…

Scottish Winter Skills Enhancement

Our students recently tackled the Scottish Winter Skills Enhancement course as part of their studies.

Two of the group - Hannah Smith and Jack Whiteside - have provided UCLan Outdoors with a record of their time in Scotland.

Jack's video can be viewed above, while to read Hannah's blog please click here.

Students team up with BMX champion

Adventure Sports Coaching students and a BMX junior champion have teamed up as part of a mutually beneficial collaboration.

UCLan Outdoor undergraduates Peter Haggan and Karl Doneraki are helping Ross Cullen with strength & conditioning and nutritional advice, as he strives to progress to the top of his chosen sport.

After dominating the UK national series, Ross became a force to be reckoned with on the Euro circuit during 2013, consistently making A-finals.

He was one of 14 young athletes from across Lancashire to be awarded a grant and support from UCLan through the 'Rising Stars' programme.

Associate Lecturer Keith McGregor said: "Following the Division's recent link up with young climber Connor Byrne, this is another excellent opportunity for our students to work with one of the country's most exciting sporting prospects.

"We're delighted to be able to assist Ross and hope we can help him achieve his ambitions of success at world level."

Access v the Environment - Where do you draw the line?

This interesting and current question was the topic of discussion at a debate hosted during February by the Outdoors Team and the SSTO's Sustainability Lead at the University of Central Lancashire.

The event was chaired by UCLan's Professor Richard Sharpley and heard presentations from Professor Lynn Anderson (New York State University), Jamie McPhie (Cumbria University), Robin Horner (RSPB) and Kathryn Beardmore (North Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority).

Students and members of the public heard the speakers' perspectives live and online and asked the panel questions. Those online tweeted or emailed their questions whilst watching the debate live on the internet. The perspectives of the speakers were summarised by one of the audience:

"Professor Lynn Anderson drew the starting line by proposing a biocentric approach using evidence from her outdoors work with persons with disabilities. She saw access to wilderness experiences as essential for everyone but stated…

Students brave the elements

Undergraduates from our Outdoor programme have been honing their skills in the Scottish mountains.

Based at a bunkhouse in Fort William, the 1st, 2nd and 3rd year students spent a week climbing in the areas Glencoe and Cairngorms led by instructors Sam Leary and Stephen Saddler.

The group faced some extremely challenging conditions, with winds in excess of 50mph and a high risk of avalanche all week, but they remained professional and focused throughout.

Sam commented: "The students brought so much energy and enthusiasm to the week which really helped make it. They were a real credit to themselves and the University. I'm really impressed with what they achieved given the weather and avalanche forecasts."

Outdoor expert praises UCLan teaching

Professor Lynn Anderson is a renowned expert in the fields of outdoor, therapeutic and inclusive recreation, with her 2011 book, 'Inclusivity Assessment Tool and User Guide', considered a seminal work within the recreation and leisure studies discipline.

As part of UCLan's Distinguished Visitor Programme, Professor Anderson (left) travelled from the State University of New York to take part in our recent public debate - 'Access v the Environment - where do you draw the line?'

The event, also streamed live, attracted a packed audience to UCLan to see Professor Anderson and three other guest speakers present case studies of where decisions had to be made to allow or prevent access to natural countryside areas and discuss the principles underlying those decisions.

We spoke with Professor Anderson after the debate to find out more about her interests.

How did you become involved in the outdoors?

"I grew up in Minnesota near a lake and have enjoyed recreational purs…

Students shine at Outdoor Conference

UCLan Outdoor undergraduates made a big impact at the recent Institute for Outdoor Learning (IOL) Northwest Conference 2014.

A group of 2nd and 3rd year students attended the event, presenting research ideas and dissertation data to expert audiences.

Feedback from employers and practitioners at the event was extremely positive, with the students praised for their exceptional skill levels, highly relevant work on reflective practice and professional development and their ability to show critical awareness across a challenging range of studies.

Andy Robinson, CEO of the IOL, said: “UCLan is in the vanguard of improving the quality of Higher Education in the outdoors. The student research presentation highlighted the quality of the investigations being carried out and reflects exceptionally well on the staff and students of UCLan alike."

Senior IOL Delegates said the Conference was a great success, with Jon Miller commenting: "UCLan students made an outstanding contribution to …

Access v the Environment - Where do you draw the line?

Staff from the Outdoors Division are teaming up with Dr Jo Guiver, Sustainability Lead from UCLan's School of Sport, Tourism and The Outdoors, to host an exciting new event.

Chaired by Professor Richard Sharpley, 'Access v the Environment - where do you draw the line?' takes place on Wednesday 12 February 2014, 4-6pm, Greenbank Lecture Theatre, Preston, PR1 2HE.

The event is free to attend and will also be streamed live on the web. The speakers include Lynn Anderson from the State University of New York and the British Mountaineering Council's Dr Catherine Flitcroft.

They will be joined by Jamie McPhie (University of Cumbria), Kathryn Beardmore, (Yorkshire Dales National Authority) and Robin Horner (RSPB).

Please follow @uclanoutdoors for regular updates. For more information please email: