Former student Eddy discusses life as kayak athlete on return to Hartpury

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Eddy Mead made a big splash as he provided Outdoor Adventure students with a fascinating insight into his life as a whitewater kayak athlete since graduating from Hartpury.

The Outdoor Adventure Diploma graduate, a raft and kayak instructor at Cardiff International White Water Centre, discussed his experiences in international competitions as well as showing dramatic video clips of himself in action.

Eddy’s presentation also highlighted the various types of equipment available to assist kayakers in their battle against the natural elements, to help support Outdoor Adventure students with aspects of their course.

Students complete a variety of modules that are designed to give them a breath of knowledge of the outdoor industry including equipment and facilities, environmental education, leadership skills and developing fitness programmes for elite athletes.

“I always enjoy coming back to Hartpury,” said Eddy. “I met a lot of like-minded ‘outdoorsy’ people here and had some really good experiences.

“I’m really passionate about outdoor adventure – I’ve been kayaking since I was 10 – and I enjoy showing students that they can really go places with it.

“For the presentation, the students looked at new products that are coming on the market, to examine the differences between them and how the changes could potentially improve performance.

“I brought along some of my old equipment and some of my new equipment so the students could compare and contrast, and see if they could spot the differences.

“The students were great – they got really involved – and I hope they found the presentation helpful both in terms of their current courses and future careers.”

Emily Fussey, lecturer and course tutor for Level 3 Diploma Outdoor Adventure, said she hoped the current student cohort would take inspiration from Eddy’s achievements since graduating from Hartpury.

“In the Outdoor Adventure Department at Hartpury College, we pride ourselves on setting our students up on the right path for exciting opportunities all around the world,” she said.

“It is always fantastic when ex-students can return to impart their experiences and knowledge to our present students.

“Eddy is one of our ex-students who has worked extremely hard to be able to compete at an international level and is a very talented paddler.

“We invited him back to the college to speak to our students about his experience in international kayaking competitions with a particular focus of the clothing and equipment that he uses in order to support the student’s studies.

“In the past, Eddy has spoken to our students about training and nutrition when preparing for international competitions, which was a huge success.

“He inspired students to create their own fitness and nutrition plans that were implemented, while some students went on to enter various competitions themselves following Eddy’s visit.”

Picture: Eddy Mead

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