Below are the profiles of the full time and part time staff that work in Oswestry School Adventure Education Department.
Alistair Othen: (Head of Department)
Alistair has been mountaineering and kayaking in its various forms for the last 20 years in the UK and the rest of Europe. He holds the Mountain Instructor Award and the Winter Mountain Leader Award. He has climbed extensively around the sea cliffs and mountainous areas of Britain in summer and winter conditions as well as being a keen white water kayaker and sea kayaker. His passion for the outdoors has included travels to Switzerland, Austria, Spain, France and Germany mountaineering and climbing as well as leading groups to Austria and Switzerland including Oswestry School’s Alps 2007 Expedition. He is a member of Llangollen Canoe Club and a BCU Level 3 inland and sea coach as well as a BCU 4 star Sea Leader. Alistair also enjoys mountain biking and holds the Trail Cycle Leader Award.
Jason has been mountaineering for quite some time now, starting with a love of the outdoors when he was a child and anything to do with bush survival. This progressed onto mountaineering by the army when carrying out Adventurous Training. This however really came to the forefront when he joined the cadets as an instructor and in 2003 became a Summer Mountain Leader. He has also had a job taking children with challenging behaviour on adventurous activities, which he held for over 5 years, and during this time gained several qualifications like mountain biking and the Climbing Wall Award. Jason has taken part in expeditions all over the world including the Pyrenees, The Italian Dolomites and in 2010 he will assist Oswestry School to go to Morocco and has been selected to help lead an expedition to Lesotho for the whole Cadet Forces to celebrate the 150th anniversary. He is also the County Adventure Training Officer for Shropshire ACF.
Nick has spent his whole working life in the outdoor/adventure travel industry and has amassed a diverse range of work and travel experiences. These include employment as Head of Canoeing at the National Water Sports Centre for Wales, work as a Training/Coaching lecturer in Further Education, voluntary work with Raleigh International (sea kayaking) and a summer as a sea kayak guide in SE Alaska.
Nick has led many white water and sea kayak expeditions throughout the UK and Europe. Other expedition experience includes paddling and trekking in New Zealand, Southern Chile, Alaska and Canada. An active and experienced BCU Level 5 Coach (inland and sea kayak), and BA (Hons) graduate in Sport, Health and Physical Education.
Martin Digby himself was a teacher for 10 years before moving his classroom into the outdoors. He holds National Governing Body qualifications in mountain walking, rock climbing, canoeing, kayaking, mountain biking, skiing, orienteering and archery. Martin’s motivation has always come from enabling others to develop skills and understanding of themselves and others. He seeks to combine his teaching experience and outdoor expertise to provide an environment that will empower others to explore and enjoy the outdoors for themselves. As well as working for himself, Martin does make himself available for freelance work from time to time, giving him the opportunity to pick up on new ideas and techniques. He is also involved in the training of Army Cadets in both military and adventurous training.
Martin Digby has been inspected and approved by the Adventurous Activities Licensing Authority and is a member of the National Navigation Award Scheme and the Mountain Leader Training Association.
Martin lives in North Shropshire with his wife and 3 children, where they are all actively involved in the local church and schools, and foster children for Social Services.
‘Volunteer’ member - most experience gained many years ago, coastal treks, hill walking in this country and various corners of Europe . Karen has just enrolled on the Walking Group Leader course and is looking forward to building on her own experience. Keen promote everything that Adventure Education has to offer - primarily because it played such a large and memorable part in her own schooling and college years.
Paul has been involved with the outdoors for more than twenty years. He is an International Mountain Leader, as well as the holder of the Single Pitch Award. Paul has lead and been involved with trips throughout Europe and North America; his main passion is just being out in the hills as often as he can which is why he now lives in North Wales.
Sarah has been involved in Outdoor Pursuits from a young age and her first excursions were into the Brecon Beacons of South Wales near where she lived. Sarah has since made a career in the industry and, having worked at a centre in mid Wales now runs the UK based activity programmes for Outlook Expeditions who are based in Snowdonia. Sarah has travelled extensively as well-led groups in Borneo and Europe. Sarah is a qualified snowsports instructor and has worked for Interski in previous years. Sarah is passionate about mountaineering and to this end is an active climber as well as ski tourer which she does during the winter months in mainland Europe. Sarah holds the Summer Mountain Leader Award and Level 2 Canoe Coach Award. She is preparing for the winter mountain leader award assessment and will soon start the process of training and assessment for the Mountain Instructor Award. Sarah is s a bubbly character who cannot fail to enthuse people about the outdoors.
Di has been a key participant in outdoor activities of all types during her life. She is a keen climber having pursued this passion around the mountain crags and cliffs of Britain from Scotland to Lundy Island as well as further afield such as Jordan and Spain. She is also a keen canoeist with a particular keenness for open canoeing and to this end is aBCU 4 star Open Canoe Leader. Di holds the ML summer, Single Pitch Award, Level 2 Canoe and Kayak Coach and is preparing for assessments in the Winter ML and International Mountain Leader. Di has worked at Plas y Brenin the National Mountain Centre and currently freelances in the Snowdonia area for various centres.
Dave has been involved in the outdoors since being introduced to it at ayoung age through school in Newport South Wales. He has been active around the world having visited most of parts of the globe on sea, land and river. He managed to visita total of 27 countries during 2009 though taking part in Outdoor activities. He is passionate about the outdoors which comes across in his enthusiastic coaching of both mountain and paddlesport. He enjoys fitness and is a keen swimmer and triathlete having compteted nationally as well as having represented Wales in trampolining. Dave holds the Mountain Instructor Award, Winter and European Mountain Leader Awards as well as also beinga Level 5 Sea and Inland Kayak Coach, Level 4 Surf Coach and level 3 Canoe Coach, phew!