"Afternoon Steve, Just wanted to message to say how much I learnt and enjoyed last weekend's course, can't wait to get the assessment booked and I will be in contact about this as soon as I can. Thank you so much for both the coastal navigation and sea leader training."
Jake Brookes, The Prince's Trust.
"Hi Steve, I wanted to thank you again for an excellent course. I thoroughly enjoyed it, learned a lot and have left with plenty to think about and practice. Thanks again."
Dan Missen, Newcastle, commenting on his Coastal Navigation and Sea Kayak Leader courses
"Dear Steve, I would like to thank you on behalf of my son and myself for our experience on Saturday and for giving us the opportunity to have a wonderful 'dad and lad' experience on the water. Chatting afterwards, it was apparent that we had got so much out of it, learning from the experience throughout the journey. From the first meeting we were impressed with the way you had set things up; finding out a little bit about each other and then from the start of the journey how the challenges were evenly distributed across your candidates in the real environment. We were also impressed with the way you allowed the candidates to show a bit of personal flair, keeping the paddlers active on the faster moving water creating an element of fun learning. You seemed to time things perfectly regarding flows and depths around the island. Thank you for such an enjoyable day."
Edwin Hayton, Ulverston, commenting on his day out as a 'client' on a Sea Kayak Leader assessment course
"Hi Steve, thanks a lot for all the good tips. I gained much more out of this than I ever expected, this was not just an ordinary test, this was so much more."
Sveinn Muller, Reykjavik, commenting on his 3 Star sea kayak assessment
"Hi Steve, Thank you for a wonderful day!! We both thoroughly enjoyed it and are now very enthusiastic! Thanks again."
Clare & Graham Isaac, commenting on their private sea kayak coaching day
"Steve, ... And to say a huge thank you for the trip - I may stop smiling at some point!! Now to go shopping for a proper fire lighter and some waterproof trousers!"
Kathy Haw, Knaresborough, following her canoe trip to Assynt which also covered 3 of BC's Guide modules
"Hi Steve, ... I would also just like to say again what a fantastic course it was (all three days) and will be recommending you to anyone looking to learn."
Reece Game, Oxford, commenting on his Coastal Navigation and Sea Kayak Leader courses
"Hi Steve, Thank you for a wonderful and inspiring course. It all makes so much more sense now. [my partner] is learning it all too as I haven't stopped talking about it. Had you thought of doing a follow up course for folk who want to learn more? For one I would be very interested."
Duncan Greene, Greene Adventures, commenting on his Coaching Process course
"Hi Steve, Many thanks for a brilliant 2 days. It's great to come away with an uncluttered mind, devoid of all the nonsense... As I said, it must be the only course we get to go on where we leave behind more than we take away, but more importantly it's the value of what we do take away with us that counts - many thanks."
Steve Macfarlane, Glenuig, commenting on his Coaching Process course
"Hi Steve, thanks for all your help and expertise on the course last week, probably the most thought provoking and certainly the most engaging course I've been on since I did my masters!"
Kevin Dudley, Colchester, commenting on his Coaching Processes course
"Dear Steve, Thank you for an excellent day's [sea kayak] coaching yesterday, and may I say that it was a pleasure to meet you. I enjoyed your relaxed and flexible approach, and the goals that you set are inspiring. Once again, thank you for an engaging day and I look forward to seeing you again in the future."
Dr Mark Hickman, Senior Lecturer, UCLAN.
"Hi Steve, A big thank you for the Coaching Processes course. I really enjoyed learning about and discussing evidence based coaching approaches and am sure I'll be back on some of your other courses in the future. Great course! Thank you."
Les Kirkpatrick, paddlesport coach, Galloway.
"Hi Steve,The [Coaching Processes] weekend was a really great opportunity and I am very glad to have developed my knowledge and understanding. Many thanks for this. I applied the thinking to my coaching yesterday. What a revelation it was. The impact [on the learners] was immediate and they loved it + I was more tired following my increased enthusiasm - a great outcome. Thank you for all of the info, it really helps to challenge our thinking and to understand why we coach/teach in the way that we do."
Yousaf Mirza, Head of Education, Wiltshire Outdoor Education Service.
"Hi Steve, Thanks for yesterday and all the encouraging feedback. I had a great time, and I really appreciate your pragmatic approach. If any of our new Level 2 coaches [on Jersey] want to progress I will definitely recommend that they come to you. Thanks again."
Derek John, teacher, Jersey, commenting on his Moderate Water Endorsement Sea Kayak assessment
"Hi Steve, Just wanted to thank you for a great weekend. It's only after a little time in reflection that I can really start to get grips with the experience. Think you bring something unique and different to the coaching world, something that breaks the mould from many other training experiences that I've had ... all good stuff."
Mark Mason, Upton, Wirral, commenting on his Moderate Water Endorsement training course.
"Hi Steve, Thanks for an awesome week! ... I will have to go back."
Dr Sue Couling, York canoe club, commenting on the Shetland sea kayak trip.
"Steve, I've been meaning to write and thank you for an absolutely fabulous [sea kayak] trip to Shetland - I still haven't wiped the grin off my face, it was brilliant!"
Lara Adams, Elgol, Skye.
"Fabulous trip Steve. I'm blown away when I think back on everything I got see - all thanks to you. I feel very fortunate!"
Jane Hardy, San Diego, commenting on her sea kayak trip to Shetland.
"Hi Steve, ... I'm constantly thinking about the [sea kayak] trip to Shetland, and going back. Thank you for all your planning, organising and of course leading, to lead a group in such a wild environment, especially the day at Eshaness is no mean feat. Giving people the confidence to go there and get on with it, immersed in the experience has undoubtedly given everyone a big boost in their paddling."
Graeme Hodgson, Wigton.
"Hi Steve, Just wanted to drop you an email and say thank you very much for this weekend. It has given me a lot of understanding of what I need to work on and lots of new ideas and things to try. I have learnt a lot from you and find your instructing style and delivery really works well for me."
Lisa Greene of Greene Adventures commenting on her 4 Star Sea Kayak Leader training
"Hi Steve, Just a quick email to thank you very much for an enjoyable / relaxed / professionally run 4* assessment. It was probably the most stress free assessment I have ever done."
Peter Morton, Buxton, commenting on his 4 Star Open Canoe Leader assessment
"Hi Steve, Thank you again for a great assessment - pretty much just felt like a normal trip out and not an assessment at all."
Adam Conroy, Rock UK, commenting on his 4 Star Open Canoe Leader assessment
"Hi Steve, Thank you for putting up with me being a nervous wreck. It was really good that I managed not to let negative thoughts destroy everything, the way you ran the assessment made this possible ... I think it was the things you didn't do that made the difference. You didn't create that doom laden atmosphere ... because it is an assessment! Anything like that would almost be a trigger to confirm self doubt. You didn't create an artificial 'gravitas'. It was just like going paddling. Also the students you chose were all really lovely people which made a big difference."
Lizzie Harrington, Outdoor Education tutor, commenting on her Advanced Water Endorsement assessment
"Evening Steve, Thank you. I really enjoyed the assessment and have learnt loads. I was very impressed with the quality of the experience, especially the invaluable, constructive in depth feedback that I received. I will definitely be recommending you to other outdoor practioners."
Noel Cochrane, Deputy Outdoor Centre Manager, commenting on his Level 2 Cave Leader assessment
"Thanks for an excellent weekend, you really are a great teacher Steve and thanks for looking after me so well. I'm excited about rivers again!"
Lara Adams, Elgol, Skye, commenting on her 4 Star White Water Kayak Leader training course
"Hi Steve, Just to say a massive thanks for the 2 days in and even on the river. I really really enjoyed the challenge and all that I took from the course. I also enjoyed the paddling on day one and the various challenges set. All in all a top course, plenty of content and plenty of challenge - I had a fantastic time!"
Steve Crane, Ripon, commenting on his White Water Safety & Rescue course
"Dear Steve, Many thanks for an excellent day's training, light hearted in tone and delivery but meaningful in content. A perfect pitch. Helped enormously by fun companions."
Andy Beeforth, Aspatria, commenting on his Coastal Navigation & Tidal Planning course
"Hi Steve, Thank you very much for the Four Star [Sea Kayak] assessment, I thought it ran really smoothly in some testing conditions; I felt you were keen to see that we could carry out all the requirements of the assessment, though were very helpful in creating an environment in which we felt as mentally at ease as possible; the result for me was a great learning experience - far more than just a test."
Lara Adams, architect and kayak coach, Elgol, Skye.
"Hi Steve, Thanks for a fantastic sea kayaking trip - it was absolutely awesome!"
Dr. Mike Mears, GP, Esperanza, Australia, commenting on his trip to the Outer Hebrides in 2014.
"Hi Steve, Following the Coaching Processes course I'm questioning things I may have normally accepted straight away - which is a very positive thing. This isn't just coaching and training related, but in many different aspects of my work. Today and tomorrow I am on a 'Change Management' course and all I can think about is whether the information I'm receiving is scientifically researched and credible. I'm converted to an evidence based approach. Thanks for all your help."
Laura McLemon, Product Development Manager, National Scout Activity Centres.
"Thanks Steve for a fantastic course, it challenged some of my own ideas and experiences and left me wanting to know more and question some of the educational practices which go on in my school. It was delivered to a high level which was refreshing as there was no attempt to 'dumb down' any of the theories and all the points made were of course backed up by the all important research evidence!!"
Elisabeth Smith, teacher, Arnside, commenting on her Coaching Processes course.
"Hi Steve, Many thanks for a fantastic course - I thoroughly enjoyed it."
Will Coombs, Derbyshire, commenting on his 4 Star Sea Kayak Leader training.
"Steve, Many thanks for the coastal navigation course on Sunday. I found it very informative and useful, you certainly have a vast depth of knowledge and experience. It was a very enjoyable day."
Steve Kendall, Wetherby, commenting on his Coastal Navigation & Tidal Planning course.
"Hi Steve, I wanted to say that I really enjoyed the [Coaching Processes] course. The level of detail was excellent. Best of all was how gracefully you accepted almost continual interventions and questions and then dealt with them so comfortably and thoroughly. The invitation to scrutinise is commonly announced though not commonly carried out. It all provided a great example of how to deliver a course. Double thumbs up!"
Rosie Goolden, teacher, Glasgow.
"Hi Steve, I found the two days really useful. The mix of tutor led and student led delivery worked really well for me. This course for me, you seemed to find the right balance and, as a bonus, it's helped me to get over a fear of kayaking. Many thanks indeed."
Nick Liley, Deputy Director, Calvert Trust, commenting on his White Water Safety & Rescue course.
"Hi Steve, Thanks for a great course, the start on the river was great and the structure of progressively increased challenge worked well from prevention to rescue throughout the two days. It has given me new energy and enthusiasm at the right time for the autumn paddling season, given me a boost that the preventative approach I use works well, and given me more confidence that I know what to do if things don't go as well as I want."
John Douglas, Senior Instructor, The Priestley Centre, commenting on his White Water Safety & Rescue course.
"Hi Steve, I really enjoyed the [Coastal Navigation and 4 Star Sea Kayak training] courses and picked up loads of great tips to improve my paddling. Thanks again."
Nigel Richardson, Outdoor Education Manager, London Borough of Tower Hamlets.
"Hi Steve, We had a fantastic day yesterday - thank you very much. We both learnt a lot, not just in terms of technique but also from your practical outlook on kayaking skill. We'll be back on the water as soon as possible enjoying and adapting our refined skills. Many thanks again and look forward to seeing you for some more in the future"
Nigel and Mandy John, Dorset, commenting on their day of bespoke sea kayak tuition
"Hi Steve, I just wanted to say thanks again for yet another fantastic course and a great couple of days on the water."
Dr. Andrew Cumpstey, Taunton, commenting on his Moderate Water Endorsement (Sea Kayak) course.
"Steve. What a course! I can't believe you managed to deliver two days of serious theory and make it so incredibly interesting. Why has no one told us this stuff before? Fantastically useful, absolutely brilliant!"
Colin North, Outdoor Education instructor, commenting on his Coaching Process course
"Hi Steve, Thank you for the really excellent course last weekend. It was truly engaging and of enormous interest to a lot of the work I do across the different sectors."
Rob Allen, Youth Worker, Chertsey, commenting on his Coaching Process course
"Hi Steve, HUGE thanks! What a fantastic vacation in gorgeous country - and the caves were the best ever! I can't think of anything to suggest which would have made it better - you did a fine, fine job and I loved every minute of it. I'll definitely be coming back next year!"
Jane Hardy, San Diego, California, commenting on her Sea Kayak trip to Skye in June 2013
Hi Steve, A belated thank you for the Skye trip, it was a real pleasure and each day worked so well with the weather and conditions due to your planning and knowledge of the area. It's left me keen to go back and explore some more. Many thanks again!"
Graeme Hodgson, Wigton, commenting on his Sea Kayak trip in 2013.
"Thank you Steve for an excellent course! I will happily recommend it to any coaches from any discipline and it should definitely remain part of the coach development pathway for the BCU. (You may quote me!). I have spent this morning trying to align the evidence given to what we do during sessions so I feel when I tell my staff on training days I can say why. I have done a bit of research for that, and it seems the way you presented the academic papers was true to their writing and you were careful to not add or augment. I appreciated this."
Johan Hoving, Proprietor, River Deep, Mountain High, commenting on his Coaching Process course
"Hi Steve, I just wanted to email to once again say thank you very much for the course. There was a genuine buzz at the centre yesterday from the staff. I'll keep you posted on outcomes as people develop and start implementing all the info."
Richard Carpenter, Deputy Head of Centre, Pendine OEC, commenting on their Coaching Process course
"Hi Stephen, Thanks for the amazing Coaching Processes course in December. I think your course is invaluable and following the course I wrote to the BCU with my thoughts. As a qualified secondary school teacher (10 years), BCU coach, Mentor to NQT's & PGCE teachers, mentor to a UKCC level 1 & 2 coaches within my local club, Professional Development coach within school (staff training) and a coach in other sporting disciplines , I have over the years received much training in educational theories and practices. Over half of the learning undertaken on your Coaching Processes Course is still not delivered in training in these other aspects/sporting coach contexts. The course was highly informative, practical in application, provocative with direct impact upon personal evaluation and will change personal practice. It was a highly positive experience and a thoroughly enjoyable course."
Mark Thompson, Teacher, Gloucester.
"Great two days Steve, thank you. Thought provoking and inspiring. Home and unpacked by 2100hrs, asleep by 2230! Looking forward to getting out there and 'cracking on'."
Sally Gregory, Gourock, commenting on her Moderate Water Endorsement training in Sea Kayak
"Hi Steve, Thanks again for a great day. I thought the choice of river was appropriate and didn't feel any pressure from yourself throughout - despite creating a lot for myself compared to my usual paddling! The most valuable part of the course for me was the feedback session at the end. I found each of your points relevant and specific to a particular part of the day and I could clearly make this connection. On previous courses, including trainings and assessments, I have never been able to understand the feedback quite as easily as yours."
Stuart Watson, Norfolk, commenting on his 5 Star WW Kayak Assessment.
"Hi Steve, Thanks very much for the Coaching Processes course, I found the 2 days inspirational, and I've been reflecting back and relating it to my teaching and coaching experience over the years - what you explained makes a lot of sense. I need to go and read all the attachments now!"
Dave Scourfield, Educational Visits Coordinator, Rochdale MBC.
"Hi Steve, Firstly I would like to thank you once again for such a motivating course, I don't think I've stopped talking about it since I got back. It really was planets apart (in an excellent way) from any other course I've ever been on - and I've been on lots! Please keep up the good work Steve."
Rick Greenland, Nottingham. Commenting on his Coaching Processes course.
"Just before Christmas, I attended a Coaching Processes course run by Steve Banks in the Lake District and I have to say it was one of the best courses that I have ever attended in terms of course content and delivery! Steve's course delivers the content of the standard BCU Course plus a whole lot more besides all backed up with a clear evidence base. I learnt a great deal from this course and look forward to applying what I've learnt in 2013 to provide a better learning experience for my clients. If you would like a coaching processes course that challenges the norm and gives guidance on current good practice all backed up with evidence from respected sources then a course run by Steve Banks is the one for you."
Chris Hughes, Adventure Activity provider, commenting in his blog: /myblog.chmas.co.uk/?p=4990
"Hi Steve, I would like to express my gratitude to you for all your professionalism, knowledge and obvious enthusiasm demonstrated during my recent training and assessment for the 4* sea kayaking qualification. Not only have I learnt the necessary skills required, but also a passion for sharing with others the joys of the discipline. You are always keen to show that it is important to have an exciting and enjoyable experience as well as being able to look after your group. I look forward to joining you again on my forthcoming kayak white water training."
Bruce McLoughlin, Dental Surgeon, Kendal.
"Hi Steve, Thanks very much for a really great course. It was very relaxed and I learnt absolutely tons thanks to your charismatic teaching style. I'm now really excited to keep it up and develop my skills further."
Jude Latimer, Clapham. Commenting on her Local Cave Leader training course.
"Hi Steve, Thanks very much for the wonderful two day training course in the Alps - everyone had a great time!"
Andy Gibbs, Paddlesports Instructor, PGL. Commenting on his 5 Star Open Canoe training course.
"Dear Steve, Thanks again for organising and delivering the Moderate Water Endorsement Assessment. I felt, as with all your courses, that I had come away having learnt a very great deal."
Andrew Dziemian, Senior Outdoor Instructor, Outward Bound Trust, Ullswater.
"Hi Steve, I just wanted to say thank you so much for both the 4* training course and this weekend's assessment, I got a huge amount from it. Your manner throughout your courses is relaxing - incredibly calming, but most of all always 100% professional. Your ability to put me at ease in the situations where my HR is double what it should be is fantastic. You push to get the best from people without them even knowing they are doing it. Thank you once again for all your hard work and patience - must be tough work! Thank you so much."
Rachel Platt, Outdoor Education Teacher, Heysham, commenting on her BCU 4 Star White Water Kayaking courses.
"Hi Steve, Following my successful completion of the first ever BCU(UKCC) Level 3 assessment yesterday, I thought I would just thank you for your help and support of my coach development to this point. It has been an interesting and informative journey so far, that has been most ably informed and shaped by the Coaching Processes course and the two MWEs you have facilitated for me. I have particularly enjoyed using the information and knowledge that you have imparted during my debates with other coaches and coach educators who may be less informed or possess less thorough scientifically supported evidence than yourself. Thank you very much for your assistance so far, and I look forward to further debate, discussion, development and paddling together when the opportunities arise. Many thanks for your support and help, it's very much appreciated."
Gary Fletcher, The UK's first UKCC Level 3 Paddlesport Coach, Royal Air Force.
"Hi Steve, I would like to thank you again for your total professionalism and approach to my assessment yesterday. It was a fantastic day and I totally enjoyed it. Your comments and tips afterwards were greatly appreciated. Hope to see/do business with you in the future."
Antonio De Luca, Outdoor Education Instructor, Northampton, commenting on his BCA Level 1 Cave Leader Assessment.
"Hi Steve, Thank you for the wonderful, thought provoking weekend and the fantastic day's caving on Monday, I don't know why I stopped for so long, although I've already got the next few trips pencilled in to start tackling the list of venues you gave me."
Graeme Hodgson, Police Officer, Volunteer Outdoor Instructor, commenting on his Coaching Processes course and Cave Leader Training.
"Hi Steve, Home safe and brain brimming with new ideas and can't wait to get out tomorrow and start using some of it! I've written the following for your testimonials page: I have just had [spring 2011] a fantastic BCU Coaching Processes course with Steve, one of the most talented tutors I have ever worked with. Run to a high level, he was still able to deliver evidence from the latest academic research in coaching excellence mixed with practical tasks and suggestions for a wide array of applications. The pace was bespoke, the subjects were of real interest and the detail was thorough and engaging. Modest, yet with a wealth of experience and expertise he remained open to suggestion and encouraged rigorous questioning until we had all a meaningful understanding of the topics covered. I feel my overall view of coaching has dramatically changed and I now want to start to use new techniques and a fresh approach as a coach, and expect a higher level of coaching when I get on other courses as the student!"
Benny Bostock, Outdoor Education Teacher, Kingston Maurward College, Dorset
"Hi Steve, Thanks for a great assessment yesterday and the speedy return of my paperwork. The assessment was fantastic, from the moment I booked, the support and guidance given was first class with pre assessment chats on the phone I was fully aware of everything I would be expected to do on the day; the assessment day itself was highly focused, highly professional yet your friendly relaxed approach put me at ease instantly, allowing me to concentrate on performing well and forget about assessment day nerves. You provided an extremely detailed debrief and continued development plan at the end of the day with the offer of continued support only being a phone call away. I would go as far as to say the most professional and supportive atmosphere of any course I have ever been involved with."
Dan Irving, Senior Outdoor Instructor, Keighley, commenting on his BCA Level 2 Local Cave Leader Assessment.
"Hello Steve, Thanks for a fantastic Level 1 training course, I really enjoyed it"
Katie Watson, Outdoor Education Teacher, Windermere School, commenting on her BCA Local Cave Leader training.
"Hi Steve, Thanks for a couple of smashing days. I thought your style was great and your ability to get people achieving things without them realising was inspirational. I found your approach to be consistent throughout, which is hard to maintain! And that your consistency gave a very clear message of what we should be trying to achieve as leaders!"
Paul Aitken, Head of Outdoor Education, Morecambe HS, commenting on his BCU 4 Star WW Kayak Leader Training
"Hi Steve, Many thanks for the feedback. I have to say your feedback on the day, and that you've sent, is superb and very useful. All I can say is thanks for your understanding and the realisation that I find assessments so damn stressful. Many thanks."
Danny Phillips, Outdoor Instructor, Darlington, commenting on his BCA Level 2 Cave Leader Assessment.
"Hi Steve, Just a quick thank you for another excellent weekend's paddling, made even better by coming away with a certificate. The organisation was spot on, group members excellent, weather amazing, assessors really easy to get on with (please extend my gratitude to your staff) all in all thoroughly enjoyable."
John Ellerton, Outdoor Instructor, Gateshead, commenting on his BCU 4 Star Open Canoe Leader Assessment
"Hi Steve, Thank you very much for the assessment course and comprehensive feedback, I've just put it in my logbook and can't wait to exchange it for a 'fully passed' version. Thanks also for the notes on development issues; I took copious scribbled notes at the time and have commented to a number of people since, that yours was the most thorough (least brief!) debrief I've come across in any NGB award! I'm sure, in relation to your comment at the start of the day, that I have moved further along the line between "novice and god in a cave" after last week's positive experience. Thanks again."
George Plant, Northallerton, commenting on his BCA Level 2 Local Cave Leader Assessment.
"Thank you so much for 2 brilliant weekends, I learnt tons on each course. Looking back on the Coaching Processes course now, everything you said seems so obvious and simple, I can't believe I've not always looked at things that way! Then the assessment this last weekend was really well run - it was certainly challenging but in such a supportive way that you always managed to remove the pressure of being assessed as much as possible. I even managed to start enjoying the assessment eventually (from the moment I rolled up on Sunday onwards, funnily enough!)."
Andy Cumpstey, Medical Student and Canoe Coach, University of Oxford, on his BCU Coaching Processes course and BCU 4 Star Sea Kayak assessment.
"Thank you Steve. Now my sinuses have properly drained and I've had time to reflect on the course / assessment, I recognise just how well you ran things. Despite my nerves, and a couple of unexpected challenges, I had two really good days paddling, learned loads by being out there doing stuff, by observing the other candidates and clients and from the very detailed feedback yesterday afternoon. I honestly cannot think of a single thing that I would choose to change in the way the weekend was delivered, either as a candidate or if I were ever to run such a course. I will keep much of the past two days with me for a long time to come and, oddly, the 4* award feels almost an aside compared to everything else."
Barry Curley, Outdoor Instructor, Ulverston, commenting on his BCU 4 Star Sea Kayak Leader Assessment.
"Hi Steve, just to say thanks again. I thought the course was really well structured and had a great balance of relaxedness (if that's a word) and high quality input. You communicate really clearly, your inputs are really constructive and you created a very supportive environment around us all. I also want to say how very much I appreciated the environmental input - the way you did it - lots of stories about interesting critters etc. - worked really well even with the group not initially all that concerned with environmental stuff; it is so important to raise awareness in all ways possible, and not just use the ocean as a big green/blue gym."
Dr. Kate Rawles, Outdoor & Environmental Education lecturer commenting on her BCU 4 Star Sea Kayak Leader training.
"Hi Steve, thank you again for a really great training course, some excellent stuff to take on and apply. It's fantastic to come away from a course feeling so inspired to get out there!"
Lucy Noble, Outdoor Instructor, Ambleside, commenting on her BCU 4 Star Sea Kayak Leader training course.
"Having been on a BCA Local Cave Leader course with Steve I decided to join a Sea Kayak trip too. Steve was his usual calm and confident self and did a great job of accommodating my (and everyone else's) needs. He has also provided lots of support for me after the trip to help me develop my Sea Kayaking and choose my own equipment. I'll be back for more in the Autumn and I'd definitely recommend him to any outdoor enthusiasts whatever their interests."
Olly Rees, Senior Outdoor Instructor, Orkney
"So far I have been on two fantastic trips with Steve. The first was a caving trip to France which was followed by an Ecology trip to the Isle of Rum. Caving was amazing! Even while we were descending down ropes into a completely new environment for me, I always felt completely safe and extremely well looked after - Steve's professionalism and commitment to looking after me was really excellent. I had such a good time that I followed this up with an Ecology week. I learnt more about Ecology from Steve in a one week hands on practical trip than I'd managed whilst studying Ecology modules at university! I wasn't the only one in that situation either. It was a magical experience. I have no hesitation recommending Steve to anyone!"
Nia Gibson, Coordinator of Education for Sustainable Development. Toronto Zoo, Canada.
"Thank you for a great weekend! ...but you realise I hope, that you have been an extraordinarily bad influence. Not only do my poor club novices now go home from my coaching sessions exhausted (but grinning!) but I have even been thinking about paddling kayaks again...now that really is a worrying thought! Anyway, thanks again for all your enthusiasm and support without which there would have been a great deal of walking!"
Sally Vetta, Outdoor Instructor, Derbyshire. Commenting on her BCU 4 Star White Water Kayak Leader Training course.
"Hi Steve, I just wanted to say thank you for the course it was brilliant. I had a great time and learned a massive amount! I realised a while ago that I'd dropped the ball in terms of developing my own coaching/leading and it was great to get some new ideas and critique on my skills, now all I've got to do is put it into practice!! I have certainly left the course with a renewed enthusiasm for improving and analysing my own coaching.
My experience was very different to my colleague's (also a PE teacher). His 4 Star course last week covered minimal leadership skills but instead focused primarily on individual strokes and getting each one 'demonstration perfect'. This has provided us with a very useful comparison and I have to say that your holistic approach is both powerful and memorable."
Tom Hughes, PE Teacher, Devon. Commenting on his BCU 4 Star Canoe Leader Training course.
"Hi Steve, many thanks for the mind expanding and stimulating BCU Coaching Processes course - I really enjoyed it and learnt lots! It's great that you run it at a far more advanced level than you need to, it's just a shame that this information is not more freely available. I'm not kidding about the book - write one! It would be very useful."
Martin McCarthy, Engineer and Canoe Coach, Blackpool.
"Even in somewhat testing Arctic conditions, Steve made my BCU 4 Star Whitewater Kayak Leader Assessment painless and, with very comprehensive feedback at the end, he ensured I learnt a lot from my weekend. I will definitely be returning to Steve for courses in the future."
Gwilym Starks, Outdoor Activity company owner, Somerset.
"Thank you very much for a brilliant course. I would like to congratulate you, it was the only assessment that I have ever done that I felt relaxed whilst undergoing."
Jon Heather, Outdoor Education Instructor, Kent. Commenting on his BCU Level 3 Canoe Coach Assessment.
"My friend and I went on a customised climbing weekend that also included some caving. Given that one of us was frightened of heights, the other of confined spaces, this presented a few challenges! Steve's calm, considered approach to all of this promoted a sense of trust that allowed us to overcome our anxiety and thoroughly enjoy the experience as well. His understanding of the psychology of learning and his obvious ability to apply it surely sets him apart from many others in his field. I found my experience liberating and energising - it certainly helped me deal with everyday challenges the subsequent working week. I'll definitely be going back for more!"
Dr. Jenny Roe, Edinburgh.
"Steve was my introduction to Outdoor Education as a career. Through him I developed my skills and turned a passion for outdoor activity into a love of teaching and coaching and watching others develop their skills. Steve has been (and still is) a coach, a mentor and an inspiration to me as I develop my career."
Kate Duffus, Kendal.
"As a maturing paddler whose main bulk of paddling was over 30 years ago, I was looking for a person who would be able to re-kindle my faded enthusiasm. Steve was just that person. He was able to look at my rusty skills and give me a series of guided experiences that called on my prior learning to solve problems. Steve's very much student centred approach gave me the confidence to trust in my own ability. His ever watchful coaching eye picked out my strengths and areas for further development. With such a professional approach it is virtually impossible not to learn."
I have already booked on further courses to continue with my paddlesport rejuvenation."
Nigel Ball, Teacher, Bradford.
"We have been doing courses with Steve for almost 10 years. We keep coming back because Steve is an experienced and highly competent coach and we always have a great time on his courses. Steve has the ability to maximise the enjoyment and learning potential from any venue whatever the prevailing conditions."
Dave and Sue Kingston, Edinburgh
"The first time I embarked upon a sea kayaking expedition off the west coast of Scotland it is fair to say that I was somewhat apprehensive! I had very little paddling experience and had never packed a boat or even considered the possibility of wild camping. Steve was always there supporting and calming in an understated way. He knew that I could do it even though I always assumed I couldn't! It was a very powerful message for me and one that has resulted in me returning again and again to take part in similar expeditions improving my skills and confidence. Steve has a remarkable ability to achieve fantastic results from the people who entrust themselves to his care whether that be in a boat, a cave or out on the mountains."
Susan Kent, Teacher, Eastbourne.
"I found Steve's approach to be unique and relaxed. He motivates, challenges, and develops people of all abilities. His quiet, thought provoking style builds confidence and allows individuals to progress at their own pace."
I was able to do more, see more and have more fun. My experience has left me very keen to come back for more."
Graeme Hodgson, Police Officer, Penrith.