Get to know David from Bradwell

This week we meet David Starsmeare

Senior Instructor at Essex Outdoors Bradwell

Tell us a little about you

My name is David Starsmere and I currently work at Essex Outdoors Bradwell as one of the two Senior Instructors at the centre.

What you would normally be doing at this time of year?

This would normally be our busiest part of the season and every day would bring new faces and new challenges.
The role of senior instructor is a very dynamic one. On a day to day basis I could be;
• Sitting in front of a computer trying to rearrange an activity programme for 100+ kids because the weather’s blowing a gale so we can’t go sailing.
• Rushing out in the van to fix a bike that’s broken off-site
• Running an activity session (the best bit really) such as sailing, powerboating, biking etc.
This time of year however we mostly should have finished training our new 2020 instructors. They would now be running their first session with the customers so during this time, it’s really important to be around to make sure all is going smoothly. Making sure the staff have done a good job and give them some feedback to help them polish up any rough edges.

What you love about your job?

I’m very lucky that I love what I do. I love doing things in the outdoors and I enjoy sharing my passion for this with others. Teaching others how to share their knowledge is really rewarding especially seeing our new instructors progress and gain confidence and maturity.
I love the fact that this job is always varied, not only in the activities but in the roles I have to fit in to. From instructor to administrator, from maintenance to cooking, from “fixing” an IT issue to shovelling some mud off the end of the slipway…ok I enjoy the variety but maybe not all the jobs.

What you love about the outdoors?

I love the peace and tranquillity of wide-open spaces and I look for them wherever I can. From sitting on a sailing boat, out on a canoe, from the back of a bike, hiking up a hill or climbing up a rock face.

How you stay up to speed in the outdoor industry?

I’m lucky that I do a lot of different activities and the National Governing bodies of those activities (Royal Yachting Association, British Mountaineering Council, British Canoeing, British Cycling), are very good at keeping us up to date with the latest national thinking from newsletters and their websites. It used to be the case that we’d go to the regional conferences but it’s all done online at the moment.

What you are doing now to stay active and maintain your mental health?

My life has changed a lot over the last 2 years. Not only because of lockdown but mostly because I became a father! Having 2 young boys in the house (a 2-year-old and an 18-week-old), means that being at home is really busy.
Whereas in the old days I’d love to go off Bike Packing (a nice long ride covering a few nights camping whilst carrying it all on the bike), now I pack my bike with kid’s and nappies, spare clothing, wipes, snacks, toys, comforter, bike repair kit, drinks, first aid kit…. it’s like I was in training for this lol
We’re lucky the beach is just down the road so it’s easy enough to pack it all up and head to the beach most days to get out of the house to make use of the lovely weather we’re having.
I’ve been lucky as lockdown has meant I’ve got to spend a lot more time with my family and enjoy taking them to the wide-open spaces that I enjoy so much

man riding bike with 2 young children