Sinead Hegarty is a Level 2 ASI SUP instructor based in Cork, Ireland. She’s super excited to get back on the water with (soon to be) ASI accredited SUP school, Pure Magic based in Dublin when things get moving again. We caught up with Sinead to find out a little more about her and how she got involved with stand up paddling and the ASI!
Hi Sinead; tell us a bit about your background
“I grew up by the water in Cork, Ireland. When I was a kid I loved the idea of surfing, but it wasn't available to do at the time so I got a skateboard. When I started working, the first holiday I went on was to learn how to surf. Being in and around water has always been an important part of my life. I now also SUP surf.”
How did you get started in stand up paddleboarding?
“I got a job in the sport. I was working in a toxic environment and needed to change it. I saw an ad saying:
Do you like the Summer?
To which I answered “Well, who doesn't??”
Would you like to spend the Summer on the Beach?
Would you like to be a SUP instructor?
“Sure, why not?”
I answered the ad, got the job and finished my training before the Season began!
Why did you become an ASI qualified SUP instructor?
“It's a globally recognised qualification, I needed it to work as an instructor. Also for me safety is very important, and safety is a big part of ASI training”
COVID has curtailed activities for a while; what are you doing now?
“Currently I'm in lockdown, like all of Ireland. I'm in college studying Sound Design”
What do you love about being an ASI SUP instructor?
“I love that it's available to anyone, no matter your age or physical ability. Last Season I taught students from 9 to 75 years young!
“It's great for your mental health, if you think of anything else besides what you're doing at that moment you're likely to end up in the water!
“As an instructor it's important to think on your feet; from noticing slight changes in weather conditions to devising different ways to help someone get to their feet. I find that coming off the water students have a very different mind set, they've achieved something and seem a lot calmer and happier”
How has COVID and related restrictions changed how you operate?
“It's changed a bit. We now have COVID protocols in place. Class numbers are smaller and for bigger groups we have extra instructors. All equipment is disinfected between classes, hand sanitizers are used, social distancing is maintained on land and on water and all instructors have masks with them”
Can you tell us any funny stories or situations that have happened during your instructing ?
“Last season, with COVID, we had our biggest Summer yet, as everyone was holidaying at home. What's amazing is the community that found and is still finding the sport. I taught lots of kids and their mums would book in for lessons with me in the evening to try it out.
“My final session last Season was a bunch of the mums, who bought their own equipment and now paddle together. They came back to brush up on safety and enhance their skills.
It's a sport for families, the family that SUPs together stay together!”
Thanks so much for taking the time to talk to us, Sinead. We wish you a wonderful and SUP packed 2021!
If you fancy becoming an ASI SUP instructor like Sinead then click here to find out how to get started and make your dream job a reality!
ASI is a professional membership and training organisation and international governing body for instructors, coaches and schools in the outdoor recreation industry for surfing, stand up paddle and bodyboarding.
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