UK. CHESHIRE. Brian Cadwallader is an ASI SUP Instructor based in Cheshire and operates ASI accredited school, Mid Cheshire SUP. He was introduced to SUP nearly 10 years ago whilst on holiday in France, on returning home he bought his first board, starting paddling on the River Weaver and introduced a lot of people to SUP in his local area.
Brian is also involved in a charity supporting people with hearing loss and deafness which has enabled him to learn sign language, allowing him to be more inclusive and bring SUP to the deaf community.
1. What is your background?
I had a thirty-year career as a fire officer with Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service, within my role I was a member of the UK International Search and Rescue Team, Water Rescue Team and the UK Urban Search and Rescue Team. Deploying to natural disasters.
For many years I was an outdoor pursuits instructor with the Princes Trust, taking their students into the Lake District, to engage in many group-based activities to bring them together as a team. Hard work but very satisfying watching their personal development.
On leaving the Fire service I became a lecturer in Further Education teaching uniformed public service students and those students going into support teaching in schools.
On a personal level I was the vice chair of a large charity organisation in Cheshire “Deafness Support Network” supporting people with hearing loss and deafness across Cheshire and North Wales. A very responsible position which has enabled me to learn sign language, but also allowing me to be more inclusive, bringing SUP to our deaf communities.
2. What got you involved in the sport?
My introduction to SUP happened when I was on holiday on the French Atlantic coast. It must be nearly ten years ago now. I remember sitting on the beach and watching a paddler launch her board onto the sea and paddled along the coast line beyond the breaking waves. I thought, wow that’s different. I could do that and so I did. On returning home I bought my first SUP board, a 12.6 touring board and off I went down the River Weaver. This was ground breaking stuff, as no one had seen a SUP board locally and were amazed to see me on the water.
3. Why did you become an ASI instructor?
As a lecturer at College I was also responsible for the enrichment programmes offering a variety of activities to students. However, SUP was a prominent activity as the campus was on the river bank. Becoming an ASI instructor was an important step to ensure students had the best access to their learning environment, knowledge and safety. The ASI qualification gave me the opportunity to offer this, but also to become an accredited school at that time.
4. What are you doing now?
I left education to work with Deafblind, Hearing and Visually impaired people across Cheshire and North Wales. A rewarding job that enables me to use my communication skills.
On leaving college I started Mid Cheshire SUP some years ago now. I oversee Mid Cheshire SUP which has grown over this time to become one of the largest SUP clubs in the North West of England.
5. What do you like about being an ASI instructor?
I have enjoyed being an ASI instructor, being able to pass on the knowledge to others, to watch paddlers develop from beginners, to becoming proficient paddlers is very rewarding, but importantly to see their personal development and the opportunity to develop myself. The ASI offer so much in this aspect, you can see why it is the leading authority in the world. The opportunities to embrace, to promote yourself in many disciplines is just remarkable. Mid Cheshire SUP is an accredited ASI school and through this I have been able to promote the ASI and offer development to other paddlers.
6. Tell us about funny or interesting or nice situation that has happened to you with instructing.
I think an important factor about leading an accredited school is offering the SUP WISE program. The ability to take the modules and use them in practical learning terms. I applied for Mid Cheshire SUP to formally adopt the river we use in partnership with the Canal and River Trust, one of the UKs largest charities overseeing the water ways in the UK. As a result, we became the first SUP club in the UK to adopt a river through their adoption scheme. A fantastic accolade that I am proud of and ables us to look after our river Weaver both environmentally and in conservation. With the benefit of applying this to our SUP WISE program, allowing club members to experience the things they write about for the qualification, plus to give back to the river we enjoy so much. As a result, Mid Cheshire SUP was recognised by our communities, town council and CRT and were presented with a community award by the town mayor for our active work on the river.
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