Gene17 - Simon Westgarth Plus

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About Simon

Lifestyler
Background
I was born near Cheddar to parents with mixed nationality, an English mother & Irish father. Youthful Summer’s on the Somerset Levels & Mendip Hills forged a joy for everything outdoors, and later led to a keen conservation interest and numerous Scouting adventures, where I was introduced to Kayaking

On the Road
Following a Summer climbing in the Alps when I finished School, my passion for new experiences lead myself for a year in Canada, more Summers away during the University years, travelling Europe and another working holiday in Canada. During these times I honed my kayaking and managed a WW Rafting Company in Norway for two Summers. A new career as a full time kayaker followed. Numerous competition successes including the European title, and with sponsorship led to 10 years on life on the road, discovering new destinations, friends and a passion for this life

A New Dawn
After years of endless Summer’s I started a number of small businesses that allow myself to keep travelling to my favoured locations of Slovenia, Italy & Norway, plus I still manage to go to a few new destinations every year, if only to kayak or film.

Adventurer
The Source
Right from the start, my spirit of adventure was forged during my youth. Living on the edge of a rapidly expanding town, the rural landscape pulled myself away from the concrete jungle. Youthful adventures and Scouting trips further a field, brought wider horizons, through hiking, kayaking and climbing

Have Passport will Travel
School over I headed out to France and a Summer of Alpine climbing, high altitude & a foreign experience that opened my eyes to a different world. On my return I enrolled on a working holiday to Canada, where WW raft guiding took myself north into the Arctic. After this there was no turning back

Day after day
A career as a full time kayaker, gave myself a free hand to travel and paddle at leisure. Destinations have included Nepal, Peru, Zambia, Turkey & NZ, all of which hold there own unique attraction, great stories and amazing times. Climbing & hiking in all the major mountain ranges, winter seasons in the Rockies & Alps and surfin’ Pacific rollers are but a few moments in this global adventure. Numerous kayaking descents and the timeless pull of the river has shaped my life of adventure, with an addictive taste for more

Educator
Background
I am involved in developing the modern kayaking technique, through using & coaching the highly successful dynamic paddling style used by elite performers

Kayak Concept
In 2003 after numerous coaching successes, most notably with the UK Junior Team at the 1999 Freestyle Kayak Worlds in NZ, I started an all inclusive kayaking trip business, Gene17kayaking. Whose concept is the delivery of a modern dynamic paddling style by cut edge coaches at great destinations

Learning & HE
Coupled with occasional HE lecturering I am currently working on a learning product for Further & Higher Education on a Adventure Tourism Case Study located in the the Soča Valley, Slovenia, due for release Autumn 2006

Schooling
BSc(Hons) Environmental Science – University of Plymouth, Plymouth, UK
GCE A Levels – Weston College of FE, W-s-M, UK

Professional Qualifications
PGCE Secondary Science Teacher – University of St Mark & St John, Plymouth
BCU/ICU Level 5 Coach Kayak – National Governing Body Senior Award

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