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Maddison-Lucy Hain Maddison-Lucy Hain

Maddison-Lucy Hain

Corfe Hills School, Poole

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Maddison-Lucy Hain

How did you hear about the Rockley BTEC course?

I heard about rockley through our next steps evening at school, during year 11. I had Absolutely no idea what my “next steps” were as such. All I knew was that I wanted to see the world and learn something new.

Did you have any watersports experience before starting the course?

Before starting with Rockley I had only sailed and windsurfed a couple of times on a Rockley Adventure residential school trip to France when I was younger. I remember being envious of the instructors out there and knew that I really wanted to give it a go!

After two years on the course I left with a triple distinction along with my RYA Dinghy Instructor and Windsurf Instructor qualifications. After graduating I flew out to France and worked as an RYA activity Instructor at one of Rockley's centres in France.

What has the Rockley BTEC course taught you about yourself?

As a person it’s taught me so much. I’ve grown to be more confident and have hugely developed my skill set and knowledge in a variety of sports. Being part of the BTEC course really showed me that I could succeed in something out of the ordinary. There were tears at times but I really pushed myself and achieved what I never thought was possible.

What kind of challenges did the BTEC course present? 

The most challenging parts were getting up and going on the water on the rainy, cold days, yet they seemed to be the days that pushed me even further!

What's next for you?

I hope to work in France for a few years which I hope will allow me to not just grow as a person but also as an instructor. With Rockley's development scheme, I plan to continue gaining qualifications and develop my knowledge further.

Any advice for those considering the course as a 6th form option?

My tip - throw yourself into EVERY opportunity given to you, and work hard, because it’s all so worth it at the end!

Toby Coffin Toby Coffin

Toby Coffin

Twynham School, Christchurch

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Toby Coffin

What made you choose the BTEC course?

I’ve always loved surfing and I’m a qualified beach life guard which bought me to the course. I didn’t have any qualifications and had never tried sailing before so I thought it might be a good challenge! 

What qualifications have you gained from the course?

Since joining the course I have gained my RYA Dinghy Instructor, RYA Windsurfing Instructor, RYA Powerboat Level 2, RYA First Aid, RYA Multi-hull Endorsement and my RYA Powerboat Instructor!

What are your plans for when you finish the course?

After the course I will be working for Ocean Elements in Greece for 6 months teaching windsurfing, sailing, powerboating and paddle boarding. I also have the opportunity to go and work in the Alp’s for the winter.

What have been your best bits about the course?

Not only have I achieved the BTEC level 3 but have had great fun on the course. This course as it has enabled me to try things I never would have before, meet new people and make friends, gain qualifications and employment and have the experience of a life time! My favourite aspect of the course was definitely the practical elements and being outside of the classroom. I will never forget my time here as it is where it all started for me and I would suggest this course for anyone who wants to travel and to be paid for it!

Emily Morgan Emily Morgan

Emily Morgan

The Purbeck School, Purbeck

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Emily Morgan

What did you do before joining the BTEC course?

Before joining the course, I did a year of A-Levels, however, I didn’t get on too well with this option. After taking my AS exams and gaining poor results, I dropped out and didn’t really know what to do with my life. I then found out about the Rockley BTEC, and it’s safe to say the course has changed my life.

What qualifications have you gained since joining the course?

Since joining the BTEC I have gained my RYA Dinghy Instructor, and RYA Powerboat Instructor qualifications, as well as my RYA First Aid qualification. I now have an idea of what I want to do in life, which is working on Yachts. I will hopefully be doing this in the forthcoming summer with Sailing Holidays in Corfu.

What do you enjoy most about the course?

I especially love the practical sailing and windsurfing sessions I have participated in. There have been many funny times during the practical sessions including extremely competitive races, jumping off of the pontoon, as well as numerous water and mud fights and lots and lots of laughs.

I will forever be grateful to Rockley for giving me an insight to what I want to do in life, providing lots of fun times and introducing me to new people who are now lifelong friends. The BTEC staff have been great too - always up for a laugh and help you out in any way possible. 

Charlotte Moors Charlotte Moors

Charlotte Moors

Lytchett School, Lytchett

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Charlotte Moors

What did you do before joining the BTEC course?

Before joining the course I was at Bournemouth and Poole college studying child care and I didn’t really get on with it. My time was running out on deciding what to do for the next year when I heard about the Rockley BTEC course. My family have always been in to watersports so I thought I would give it a go. It's safe to say this was the best decision I could have made and it has changed my life for the better!

What qualifications have you gained since joining the course?

Since joining the course I have gained my RYA Dinghy Instructor, RYA Windsurfing Instructor, RYA Powerboat Level 2, RYA Safety Boat and my RYA First Aid qualifications.

Were there any highlights of the course?

A significant highlight was our first week as a group. We took an activity holiday to one of the Rockley centres out in France and got to try all of the activities we would be learning, in an amazing environment, with the most enthusiastic staff members - it really was a place where friendships were made!

Another highlight of the course would be the work experience opportunity you get. I was lucky enough to be able to go back out to the centre where it all started in France for two months to teach watersports as an assistant instructor to school groups and it was the most challenging and fun experience I could have asked for! And to top it all off we got paid for it too! 

Did you find anything particularly challenging about the course?

The coursework can be quite intense, however it became easier as we were able to relate what we were learning practically in activities to the coursework. The staff were also extremely helpful which made my time here so much easier!

What's life been like since leaving Rockley? 

Life since leaving Rockley has been all about sailing. I spent a short period working for Neilson out in Greece which I unfortunately have to cut short due to my medical condition, epilepsy. I’ve worked on Poole Quay doing rib tours, taken thrill rides along the Jurassic Coastline and I have sailed from England to France around Spain and Portugal and then down to the Canary Islands where we joined the 2018 ARC+. We then sailed 896 miles to the Cape Verde Islands and 2165 miles to Rodney Bay St. Lucia,   

I have finally found what I want to do with my life. The Rockley BTEC really has changed my life and has given me the confidence to chase my dreams! I can’t thank them enough for what they have helped me achieve and my time here will stick with me forever. So far it's been amazing but not without its ups and downs. I just want to say that no matter what struggles you are going through, whether you have a medical condition or not, you can still do anything if you put your mind to it!

Matt Goble Matt Goble

Matt Goble

BTEC Graduate 2017

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Matt Goble

Matt’s initial passion for sailing started as a youngster when he was part of the Sea Cadets. He soon became a member of his local sailing club and then signed up to a Rockley two week RYA Dinghy Instructor course. Choosing the BTEC L3 Sport course was then the perfect next move.

Why did you choose the Rockley BTEC Level 3 Sport?

I choose Rockley as I had already previously been downto do my Dinghy Instructor and really enjoyed the friendly atmosphere which had kick started my passion for working in a marine environment. It also gave me the best opportunities to progress quickly with professional andvocational qualifications.

What qualifications did you graduate with? 

I graduated with a triple Merit in my Extended Diploma in Sport as well as my RYA Senior Instructor, RYA Multihull and advanced Endorsement, RYA Powerboat Instructor, RYAStart Windsurfing Instructor, RYA Safety Boatand RYA First Aid.

How have you used your qualification? 

My qualifications gave me enough UCAS points to start a Merchant Navy Cadetship. This was a Foundation Degree in Maritime Operations and also involved working towards getting my Officer of the Watch Certificate of Competency Unlimited.

What were the best bits of the course? 

The best part was very much the balance of the practical and theoretical work. The phrase “work hard, play hard” really applies. The opportunities to do everything from windsurfing to mountain biking develops your personal skills ready for everyday life.

What did you do after the course? 

After I graduated from the course, I started my Merchant Navy Cadetship working for P&O Cruises and studying a Foundation Degree in Maritime Operations, this comprises working atsea and doing phases in Merchant Navy Collegeas well.

What is next for you? 

Once I have finished my fourth phase of Training at Sea, I will be fully qualified to work on any size ship as a Junior Officer.

What’s it like being part of the Rockley Team?

Being part of the Rockley team, was more like being a part of a big family. Everyone is supported and encouraged to be the best that they can be.

Any tips you would give someone thinking about doing the Rockley BTEC? 

Just throw yourself in the deep end and grab every opportunity given to you even if it puts you outside your comfort zone!

Shannon Lewis Shannon Lewis

Shannon Lewis

St Peter's school, Bournemouth

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Shannon Lewis

Shannon graduated from the BTEC L3 Sport course in 2017 with her RYA instructor qualifications. She then continued to work aseason at Rockley’s Le Lac Mimizan centre in south west France.

How did you first become involved with Rockley?

I first became involved with Rockley by deciding to do the Level 3 BTEC qualification. Being a very outdoors personI knew I didn’t want to sit in a classroom and pursue with my A-levels. The course seemed to offer a good balance between classroom work and being outdoors, and I was absolutely right. It was a fantastic course which gave me so much experience and qualifications.

What qualifications have you gained through Rockley? 

Through Rockley I have gained my RYA Windsurf Instructor, RYA Powerboat Level 2, RYA First Aid and Assistant Dinghy Instructor.

What was your first job role after graduating?

I worked at Le Lac Mimizan in France as a Windsurf Instructor which I absolutely loved. Using your qualifications in a real job environment gave me so much confidence. I loved teaching school children especially those who had never experienced watersports before. The smiles on their faces when they knew they could achieve something new was the best kind of job satisfaction.

What would you say to someone looking to get involved in the watersports industry? 

Personally I would highly recommend getting involved in the watersports industry. You gain a massive amount of experience and make lifelong memories, especially if you work for Rockley!

What are your future plans?

I have just applied for university to do a BAHons in Physical Education at Southampton Solent. The fact that I didn’t have to sit through two years of A-levels and had the option of choosing the BTEC course as an alternative, is the reason I have been able get this far. I’ve got my fingers crossed that I will be accepted.

How do you feel you’ve changed since doing the course?

The course really pushed me out of my comfort zone and challenged me beyond my expectations. As a result I’ve developed massively as an instructor but also as an individual. I’ve come a long way since my first day on the course and am confident in the direction I want to take in my career.

Jacob Bennett Jacob Bennett

Jacob Bennett

Bournemouth School for Boys, Bournemouth

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Jacob Bennett

What qualifications did you have before joinong the course?

I joined the course with my RYA Dinghy instructors qualification and my RYA Race coach qualification.

What qualifications did you gain?

Whilst on the course I gained my RYA Safety boat qualification as well as gaining my Start Windsurf Instructor qualification. During the BTEC I was able to achieve a D*DD during my one year stint at the college.

What are your future plans?

I plan to enrol on to a 3 year cadetship in order to gain my Officer of the watch ticket to become an officer in the Merchant Navy.

What were your course highlights?

The course was full of highlights! One of the best moments was my work experience out in France - it gave me a greater sense of independence and also going on the water in a beautiful location with a great team was a lot of fun.

What were the most challenging parts of the course?

The most challenging part of the course for me was making sure that I didn’t miss any work deadlines. To complete all the work in the timeframe meant I needed to be especially organised.

Would you recommend the course?

If you were ever the child to be sat in school and look outside and wander what am I doing sat in here, then this course allows you to learn practically, experience great opportunities and get involved with an industry which has so many doors for the future. I had a great time with a great bunch of people.

Jessica Hamilton Jessica Hamilton

Jessica Hamilton

St Edwards CofE School

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We chat to Jessica Hamilton, a 2017 BTEC L3 Sport graduate who achieve a triple distinction.

Gemma Norman Gemma Norman

Gemma Norman

St Edwards CofE School

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Gemma Norman

What school did you go to?

I went to St Edwards CofE School in Dorset

How did you choose the Rockley BTEC Level 3 Sport? 

I went to a careers fair where I met and spoke to the Rockley team. I subsequently went to one of their Open Days and realised that this course was exactly what I was looking for. 

Did you have any previous sailing or watersports experience? 

I had been to Rockley’s Poole Park centre on a Primary School trip when I was younger but had no other sailing or watersports experience before starting the course.

What qualifications did you graduate with? 

I graduated with my RYA Dinghy and Windsurf Instructor qualification, RYA Powerboat Level 2 and RYA First Aid.

What have you done since graduating in July 2017?

I spent the rest of the season working in France for Rockley as an Activity Instructor, making full use of my qualifications and enjoying life!

What were the best bits of the course?

What I loved most about the course was the mixture of theory and practical work. The practical was a lot of fun, working as a team and getting to meet so many new people who are now friends for life. I learnt a lot.

Was it different to what you expected?

I was open minded when I joined the course, not really knowing what to expect, but it was very enjoyable and I now have valuable qualifications which I can use worldwide.

What is next for you?

Where would you like to be next year? Next year I hope to gain further experience working for Rockley. They have a great scheme where staff can further their qualifications whilst working for them. As for the long term future, I’m planning to go to Univerusty to study Sports Management and then hope to work further afield in Australia or the Caribbean where I will use all the skills and knowledge I have learnt.

Any tips you would give someone thinking about doing the Rockley BTEC?

Keep an open mind and push yourself. It is both a very enjoyable and rewarding course when you put your mind to it - you really can achieve great things.

Kyro Miller Kyro Miller

Kyro Miller

Avonbourne Boys Academy, Bournemouth

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Kyro Miller

How did you choose the Rockley BTEC Level 3 Sport?

I have always been in to outdoor sports and I wanted to do a course that involved that, so I went to the local college. We didn’t get out of the classroom much and I was really unhappy with the course. A friend was already on the Rockley course and suggested I made a call. I got myself an interview and was very quickly enrolled on to the course. 

Did you have any previous sailing or watersports experience?

I had been sailing twice a year since I was 12 years old with the Scouts and in 2012 I went on a family holiday to Rockley’s AzuRivage centre in France.

What qualifications did you graduate with?

I graduated the course with my RYA Dinghy and Windsurf Instructor qualification, RYA Powerboat Level 2 and RYA First Aid.

What did you do when you graduated from the course? 

I have been working as an Activity Instructor at Rockley Le Lac in my second season with Rockley. This winter I am taking part in the Senior Instructor Development Programme and would like to return to Rockley in 2018 as a Senior Instructor.

What were the best bits of the course?

There are so many ‘best bits’ but for me it was the variety of activities we did, the trips we went on and getting to know so many like-minded people.

Was it different to what you expected?

Yes and no! My idea of the course was that it would be all round sport. I thought it would be getting out and just doing the activities. But it’s much more, it goes into detail about everything you need to know regarding the world of watersports from sports management and fitness, to the rules and regulations behind running a business.

Any tips you would give someone thinking about doing the Rockley BTEC?

If you are in to outdoor sports, watersports or land activities, get out as much as you can! Spend lots of time on the water and keep up with the course work and you’ll get the qualifications you need while having a lot of fun! 

James  Anken James  Anken

James Anken

Glenmoor and Winton AcademieS, Bournemouth

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James  Anken

When did you first get involved with Rockley?

I started many moons ago! Back in Sept 2011 as a proud BTEC. First hitting France as the best ever work experience that Kat has ever seen all the way back in 2012. Then for some mad reason I came back the next year for a whole season.

 What qualifications have you gained through Rockley?

I started here with NOTHING and now I'm EVERYTHING!!! DI, WI, PBI, SI and most importantly a great person! This year I made La Rive GREAT again as Activity Manager and with my minions it was the best year La Rive has ever seen.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?

Me in 5 years’ time................ I will be an astronaut! Only kidding too far to travel without toilet breaks. In 5 years’ time I am going to hopefully be teaching within a school maybe not even in the UK.


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