We have been a pioneer in outdoor pursuits throughout our 500 year history and we are now expanding our provision to become a commercial outdoor activities provider, opening up our facilities and expertise to adults as well as children, schools and organisations across the UK and worldwide.
Head of OP, Chris Wright, is implementing and leading the development, which will make the most of the school’s experience, resources and ideal location for adventure, on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales National Park.
Said Chris: “From now on, everyone can access our Outdoor Pursuits (OP) department. This is an exciting development for us, we are opening up the outdoors to a much wider range of people and giving adults and groups of all ages the opportunity to improve their skills and discover new activities.
Courses and events will be on offer throughout the year while maintaining our current high level offering for Giggleswick pupils in a wide range of outdoor sports, from climbing, fellrunning and mountaineering to kayaking, caving and mountain biking.
Giggleswick Outdoor Pursuits will offer courses such as Hill Skills and Mountain Skills under the Mountain Training England umbrella, as well as National Governing Body Leadership Awards such as Hill & Moorland Leader (the first course is scheduled for October 26-28), to provide training relevant to a range of activities. This is expected to be popular with those such as scout leaders or teachers working on the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme. Giggleswick also has providership status for the National Navigation Award Scheme. As well as set dates open to anyone to book onto, bespoke courses will be available, with a minimum of four people per class.
Chris said: “Corporate development days can be arranged and we can also facilitate guided walks, caving, mountain biking – you name it. We have a range of experienced staff at Giggleswick and we also work with local freelance experts to offer safe and fun activities to all, under our AALS licence. We also intend to reinvigorate our holiday course provision and develop programmes for adults as well as children during the Easter and summer breaks.”
Chris intends to put Giggleswick firmly on the map for outdoor interest events. Already it is the venue for the English Schools Fellrunning Championships and hosts a popular Kendal Winter League fell race. The school will host a cyclo cross race in December, in collaboration with the Yorkshire Cyclo Cross Association and April 13 and 14 2019 will see a specialist UK ultra running festival take place at the school.
A keen ultra runner himself, Chris recently completed the grueling Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc (UTMB) which saw him run a high altitude 171km circuit of Europe’s highest mountain, starting and finishing in Chamonix. He has 30 years’ experience leading personal and youth expeditions, both in the UK and overseas and has led for British Exploring and is a qualified Winter Mountain Leader and Rock Climbing Instructor. A Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (FRGS) he is also an ex Para and teacher with a string of qualifications to his name.
Said Chris: “I believe in experiential learning and I am hugely excited about developing Giggleswick’s OP department into an outdoor centre, reaching out into the community to train and provide.”
To find out more about courses and facilities on offer, please contact 01729 893000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or go to our website www.giggleswick.org.uk/OutdoorPursuits