Growing up slap bang in the middle of beautiful Wales didn’t throw up many opportunities to surf, but from a very early age I knew that, given the chance, I would be completely consumed.
From very early on in my life I found great solace and challenge in the wild places of the UK. I was constantly in the outdoors, be it climbing, kayaking, jumping into rivers from various structures and mountain biking. This constant immersion gave me a real appreciation of the value and delicacy of our wild places and I began to think a lot about the health of the environment and our impacts upon it.
Leaving school I set out to become an Outdoor Pursuits instructor. I absolutely loved being an instructor and have worked all over the UK and in the US, however one thing that troubled me constantly was the worsening state of our beautiful environments and the lack of institutional consideration for its protection. This left me with a pretty obsessive desire to try and do something to change this state of affairs.
And so to the here and now, I graduated from Plymouth Uni with a degree in environmental resource management and a 4-year crash course on what it means to be a surfer. Immediately I set about trying to find a job that would allow me to combine my love for the outdoors and surfing in particular with the desire to protect the very environments that contribute so heavily to my happiness.
Although having this as my aim when starting my degree, I still pinch myself when I realise that I am an SAS staff member. If I could consult my 15-year-old self, I think he may be quite impressed. I get a chance to actually make a difference, we don’t just make noise. Already in my first 2 months I have helped SAS influence Scottish government legislation with our Scottish Marine Bill success and organised beach cleans across the UK. The learning curve is as steep as it gets and the days can sometimes be long, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Especially when I know that the reward for hard work is always waiting just outside the office door in the shape of the stunning Atlantic Ocean.