Exploring the outdoors

12th July 2022

Found in: Blog  -  

Author: Locate Guernsey

In this month’s guest blog, we speak to Alan Jenner, the Guernsey Sports Commission’s first ever Outdoor & Adventure Sports Development Officer! He tells us all about his passion for the outdoor Guernsey lifestyle, encouraging our island community to try new things in our world class outdoor environment.

If you are interested in relocating to Guernsey for a more sustainable lifestyle or simply want to find out more about setting up a business in Guernsey, please get in touch.

Alan used to work in the local finance industry, but had always dreamed of being a PE teacher, “My passion for sport remained and I’ve been fairly good at most sports I’ve tried…nothing brilliant…just good, and I have represented the island a few times at different levels and at different sports.”

After borrowing a SUP board from a work colleague in 2012, he became hooked as the sport offered so much in Guernsey waters, from a gentle paddle to surfing and racing.

Now Alan is British Stand Up Board Level 2 Instructor, the only one in the Channel Islands and he runs Guernsey SUP.

“The SUP paddle stroke is quite technical so I have studied, trained and got coaching from the UK’s top coaches in respect to the breakdown of the stroke and I have combined this technical knowledge with my passion for teaching and so Guernsey SUP was born to offer Guernsey residents and visitors an opportunity to get on the water and get the basics dialled in straight away.”

In his newest role, Alan has become the island’s first Outdoor & Adventure Sports Development Officer by using his background in water sport to provide support and education to teachers, coaches and volunteers to ensure that the delivery of adventure sports is safe for our community.

“… the role is community based and offering a pathway for all forms of outdoor activities in the island, which is underpinned by safe practices, opportunity for training for everyone and learning forums for young and old in respect to life skills, environmental awareness and cultural enrichment.”

Alan has been in the post for 4 months now and has aims to establish a friendly and welcoming environment, “…water confidence and environmental awareness are key factors and I will be working on breaking down some fears with knowledge and awareness. With the correct strategy and support then we can offer our world class outdoor facilities to islanders.”

With so many opportunities to get outdoors and enjoy our natural landscape, Alan hopes to encourage a blue health strategy. Conclusive EU research suggests a positive association between greater exposure to outdoor blue spaces and the benefit of social prescribing for mental health and wellbeing.

So if you’re interested in taking up SUP, we asked Alan for his top 7 tips:

  • Get a lesson (or two) to literally find your feet and more importantly get safety information from your instructor
  • If you’re serious about the sport, buy a good quality SUP board – as the fastest growing water-sport in the world, there are plenty of boards to choose from – “My advice is be very wary of poor quality boards and paddles, and any beginner board should be at least 10’6 long, 30 inches wide and 6 inches thick. Get hold of me if you need any advice.”
  • Always take out a phone in a waterproof case
  • Always wear a leash
  • Always wear a buoyancy aid (50N buoyancy or higher) and appropriate clothing
  • NEVER go out in an offshore wind
  • Stick to the shallows

“I will shortly be releasing a SUP code of practice for the season ahead, and holding free safety events with other water providers. If you want any further details on safety and the sport in general then you get hold of me or visit – https://www.bsupa.org.uk.”

With the second biggest tidal range in the world, there are plenty of beautiful locations to explore in Guernsey, “as a Northern lad then I have to say Pembroke, L’Ancresse and Grande Harve are my favourites, but in all honesty we are blessed with some amazing options, and the South coast offers something completely unique!”

When we asked Alan what he most loved about island life he said, “Its diversity, both in culture and environment. The heritage mix between the English and the French gives us such as unique identity and when you combine that with our coastline and environment then what’s not to love?”

If you are interested in relocating to Guernsey for a more sustainable lifestyle or simply want to find out more about setting up a business in Guernsey, please get in touch.

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