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Hannah Hughes

Hannah has been working as a Sports for Life Officer in the

Healthy Communities Department in Gwynedd Council for nearly a year now. As

part of her job, Hannah works with schools, clubs and events to provide a wide

variety of inclusive sports and physical activity programmes.

Prior to this, Hannah completed a traineeship at the Arete

Outdoor Centre in Llanrug. The 12 month programme gave her invaluable

experience in the outdoor sector. She would shadow experienced instructors in

various activities such as coasteering and orienteering, learning and fostering

leadership skills. During her time with Arete, Hannah successfully gained many

qualifications including her Mountain Leader Award and Mine Leader Award and

enrolled to do her Single Pitch Award Assessment. Through acquiring these

qualifications, she could then lead sessions and gain valuable experience

before becoming a freelance instructor at the end of the programme.

Hannah’s journey in the outdoor sector began with an

anonymous nomination to participate in the TV programme Ar y Dibyn. To this day, she is still unaware of who nominated her

for the programme! It involved several different challenges which focused on

adventurous outdoor activities, one of which was to abseil down the side of

Caernarfon Castle – an activity that was completely new to Hannah. Although she

had always lived in Caeathro, which is a stone’s throw away from Snowdonia

National Park – a site famous for outdoor adventurous activities – Hannah’s

only experience in the outdoors was climbing Snowdon when she was younger.

The TV programme changed the course of her life – where she

previously played rugby and netball and trained nationally for judo

competitions, even competing at the 2006 Commonwealth Games, Hannah now has a

real passion for the outdoors. After appearing on the programme, the Arete

Outdoor Centre approached her to join their traineeship. She was encouraged by

the programme’s presenters, Dilwyn Sanderson-Jones and Lowri Morgan, to go on

the traineeship after Hannah came second on the show, so she upped and left her

job to pursue a career in the outdoors.

Hannah enjoys her job as the Arfon Community Sport for Life

Officer as it gives her the opportunity to provide activities that are

additional to the curriculum and work with communities to allow new

opportunities in sport for children and young people in Gwynedd, and doing so

through the medium of welsh. Additionally, Hannah has the ambition to get local

children and young people into the outdoors, an opportunity she didn’t get when

she was younger. There aren’t many female welsh speaking instructors so Hannah

is a key asset to the project as she’s able to provide activities through the

medium of welsh.

To everyone who’s thinking about a career in the outdoors,

this is what Hannah had to say about her experience, “Go for it!! It has been brilliant having the opportunity to meet loads

of people with the same mind set and who wants to go out and practice their new

skills. Watching qualified instructors and learning from their experience,

their knowledge and wisdom is a great way to learn useful suggestions on how to

teach groups. I’m thankful for the support from the Outdoor Partnership on my

journey and would advise anyone keen to venture into the outdoor world to get

in contact with them. I feel lucky to be able to do something I have an

interest in day in day out, creating new opportunities in the county and

working with many organisations, events and people and get paid to do so!”