Finding Your Dream Job as an Outdoor Activity Instructor

If this year has taught us anything, it’s that we hold the power to reinvent ourselves. With so much time on our hands during lockdown after lockdown, we were forced to take a good look at our lives and reflect on what parts of it no longer aligned with our vision and values. For many of us, it’s been the year of rediscovering old hobbies and discovering new passions. And maybe even making a new life from those passions.

That’s exactly what four of our newest recruits did after completing an intensive three-month long outdoor activity instructor course with Newquay Activity Centre (NAC). And now they’re living the dream, building a career from sharing their love for the ocean and outdoors on the Cornish coast and beyond!

Noticing the huge lack of female presence in the UK’s outdoor activity instructor industry, we worked with Newquay Activity Centre to create this course to fast-track women into their dream role teaching surfing, kayaking, coasteering, bodyboarding, stand up paddle boarding and beach lifeguarding. And even better – the qualifications earned from the course are recognised worldwide, which means endless opportunities to travel and teach your favourite outdoor activity!

Meet the latest ladies to qualify as outdoor activity instructors with NAC!


By Lily Plume


Amy Kendall left her life in Kent behind to pursue a career of ocean adventures. After completing the course, she’s now part of the Women + Waves and NAC team working full-time in and around the ocean. But the adventure doesn’t stop there – Amy has a 5 year plan in place which will see her sailing around the world in the boat that she has bought!

Amy moved from Kent to Cornwall to become an outdoor activity instructor. Photo by Goleft Images.

Abi Harding quit her office job in London in search of a slower-paced lifestyle. The course was a way back to herself, after going through the devastating loss of a loved one and finding herself on a rewilding retreat in Cornwall. In a matter of months, she moved down here to complete the course and is now living in her van, working for NAC as an instructor and in the office, and at Stithians Lake as a paddlesport instructor. “I would recommend this course to anyone going through something – if you’ve got the headspace then just go for it.”

Abi says her mental health has improved massively since completing the course. Photo by Mark Kelly.

Anna Mungles Davies sold her rental property business and took the plunge into a journey of self-discovery. She wanted “to be fit, stay active and do something a bit braver” – which led her to become a qualified outdoor activity instructor. At 49 years old, Anna is proof that “this really isn’t a young person’s or a boy’s thing!” She now works for Coastal Crusaders, a not-for-profit community interest company inspiring lives through sports, friendships and the ocean.

Anna was looking for a challenge when she decided to sell her business and join the course. Photo by Goleft Images.

Nichola Waites left her job as a police officer to pursue her long-standing dream job. Not wanting to miss the opportunity that passed her by 20 years ago, she saw the rich content of the course and decided to go for it. Hurdles like childcare and job hunting in the industry as a single mum were knocked down by the course director, reassuring Nichola that this was the right decision for her. She now uses her qualification working for Women + Waves, Gwithian Surf Academy and NAC.

Being a single mum didn’t stop Nichola from pursuing her dream of teaching outdoor water sports. Photo by Goleft Images.

We are so stoked to see Amy, Abi, Anna and Nichola thriving in their new careers as outdoor activity instructors. We’re also excited for our current instructors in training, eight adventure-loving ladies who will be graduating this July!

Looking for a healthy lifestyle change that allows you to maximise your time out in nature? Check out our Outdoor Activity Instructor Academy and start living the life you love!

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