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Not just for boys! Women are soaking up new ocean career opportunities on the Cornish coast!

Outdoor Activities Not Just For Boys

A new outdoor activity instructor course has been launched by Newquay Activity Centre and has specifically called out to adventure-loving ladies to join its upcoming course. 

The intensive three-month course comprises study and practical work which will enable individuals to fast track themselves into an outdoor activity instructor role. This could be in coastal-based activity centres in the UK, or excitingly, for outdoor adventure companies around the world. The students will be taught by the centre’s award-winning team and they will receive the highest standard of training and real hands-on work experience as they go.

With a severe lack of female presence in the UK’s outdoor instructor industry, Newquay Activity Centre has created a new course that supplies candidates with the vital qualifications they need to safely lead and teach a number of outdoor activities. These include surfing, kayaking, coasteering, bodyboarding, stand up paddle boarding and beach lifeguarding. What’s more, these qualifications are recognised worldwide so there is a huge opportunity to travel whilst having near-guaranteed work all around the world.

Outdoor Activities Not Just For BoysThis week, an all-female group began their three-month intense Outdoor Activity Instructor Training Course in Newquay. This promising group of 8 adventure-loving ladies will do wonders to help restore the balance within the male-dominated instructor industry. The girls will go on to embark on unique ocean activities, gain vital qualifications and ride into new career opportunities by the summer.


Abi, a student on the current all-female course, had this to say about her exciting future prospects in the outdoor industry: “I’m loving my new life in the outdoors, I genuinely can’t wait to get to work each day, the conditions are constantly different, I meet new people every day and it’s a really great feeling to be teaching activities that give so much enjoyment

Rob Barber Director of Newquay Activity Centre and founder of the course says “Despite a noticeable increase in women surfing, as well as a huge increase in wild sea swimming, there is still a drastic shortage of female instructors to lead on surfing and other ocean activities. To fill this gap and promote what an amazing career the ocean can give you, we have created a bespoke course that is instructed by leading experts and includes popular outdoor activities such as surfing, kayaking, coasteering (etc). Plus we’ve added in unique experiences that we have developed on the Cornish coast, such as SUP and bushcraft tasks or excursions to hidden gems on different parts of the coast.”

Outdoor Activities Not Just For Boys

After three months the ladies will have qualified and will then move on to shadow so they can build up their certifiable hours before leading a group on their own. Rob continues “Once our students qualify, they will be offered a job with us and they also then get the added experience of delivering really exciting ocean activities to customers. On top of that, often our customers have never experienced these adventures before so it’s a very rewarding role to take on. Plus, there are all the physical and mental benefits of living and working by the sea. It really is a wonderful and thrilling career opportunity


In a bid to inspire more females to take their passion for the ocean a step further and to become qualified instructors, Newquay Activity Centre has partnered with the UK’s leading all-female surf society, Women + Waves, to appeal to a wider audience of women.

Working together to get more females on board, the successful campaign has garnered interest from women all over the UK. There have been different ages, abilities and reasons for joining the course. 

A recent course graduate, Anna Mungles 49, sold her multiple rental property business to enable her ‘to be completely free’ and decided that this was the year for a big change. Not resting on her comfy retirement nest, and finding herself on a bit of a self-discovery journey, Anna decided that she was ready for a new challenge. Approaching her 50th birthday at the end of this year, Anna wanted “to be fit, stay active and do something a bit braver.’’ 

Starting the course on a cold day in January, jumping into a wild sea swim with the rest of the group, Anna says “I really wanted to push myself into experiencing something new and, over the 3 months, days have been challenging, invigorating, amazing and joyful all at once! There really are different elements to the course each day. Some of the teaching adventures have been wild and cold but the equipment (wetsuit etc) is so good now that it doesn’t hinder you, and the cold wildness adds to the experience. I have never felt fitter. I have faced big fears, I’m terrified of kayaking, but I’ve just gone for it. I have more love for the sea and for where I live, Cornwall’s vast and rugged coastline is beautiful in all seasons, and being in the sea is always energising.”

“Rob and his team are great at what they do and are so encouraging. This course is really set for any ability, you just have to be a little bit brave and have a ‘go-for-it’ attitude. This really isn’t a young person’s or a boy’s thing! I’ve experienced much more than just learning new skills. I’ve discovered the next part of me and that has opened up the desire to give back these experiences to people who have been through hard times or traumatic experiences, so they can have the chance to experience the sea in this way. The benefits are really lifechanging” 

The new female group of students, who are now enjoying the first week of the course with lesser lockdown restrictions, include Phoebe who has ditched her admin job in Birmingham and moved down to the coast. She has decided that this is her gap year learning experience and is ‘having the time of her life on the beach.’

Newquay Activity Centre is based on the North Cornish Coast, in Newquay, where its seven beaches and miles of sandy coastline make the perfect playground for outdoor instructor training. Just a stone’s throw from many of the country’s most beautiful beaches and coastlines, the chance to become an effective outdoor professional has never been so inviting.

Outdoor Activities Not Just For BoysDue to the crystal-clear waters and consistent swell from the Atlantic, Newquay has long been the surf capital of the UK. Spending just a short time immersed in the lifestyle of such a place is enough to make you throw away your tie and spend the rest of your career in shorts, flip-flops or a wetsuit. Alternatively, if you are just embarking on your career, this is a great way to fill a gap year or make your first job a salt-water adventure.

Course administrator Mark Kelly commented “This isn’t your usual outdoor course; we will equip our trainees with everything they need to launch their outdoor instructor careers. Once they have completed their 3 month course, they will be certified professionals from the leading awarding bodies in the industry. In addition to the training we will give them the work experience, skills and industry knowledge vital to succeed. An exciting end to the course will see the successfully qualified pupils given the opportunity to interview for an instructors position and join the Newquay Activity Centre team”.


If there’s one thing that 2020 has taught us, it’s that spending time in the outdoors is imperative for maintaining your mental health. Be it hiking, climbing, surfing, SUPing or swimming; being at one with Mother Nature has an extreme effect that just can’t be replicated. Can you imagine enjoying these benefits every single day whilst getting paid for it?

Outdoor Activities Not Just For Boys

Newquay Activity Centre Director Rob Barber says: “To have the beach as your office is the dream for so many people, and helping others to make the absolute most out of the Cornish coast is a reward in itself.” Rob continued “We feel that various UK lockdowns have really put life into perspective and that perhaps now this course will be more attractive than ever. It offers you the opportunity to put your energy into something that you love. You could make a living out of an existing hobby, or you could change your career path entirely. As a centre we have always been focussed on raising the industry standards and with this course we aim to produce some of the country’s best instructors. Not only will our coaches deliver incredible experiences, they are also a vital part of the safety eco system of our coastline. We prioritise safety above and beyond everything and this group of individuals will be highly trained to keep beach and ocean users safe while they are on duty.”

For more details and to sign up to the course please view our Outdoor Instructor Training Course


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