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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!”