22–23 Mar 2025 304 days to go! #GetOutside

Molly Cooper

Over the course of my career in the outdoor sector, spanning well over a decade. I have been able to gain experience in several elements of the sector, such as front line delivery, academic research and management of outdoor facilities, and supporting the wider sport and leisure industry.
As an example, whilst studying for my undergraduate degree in Adventure and Extreme Sport Management, I completed an independent study on “The perception of risk in male and female white-water kayakers”. This topic of research was an area of great interest to me, as a passionate paddler and coach, I wanted to be able to identify how perceived and actual risk affects individual performance. This independent research project allowed me to enhance my coaching ability and impart my knowledge to colleagues and other members of the wider industry. This also influenced my approach to planning and delivery of all adventurous activities and allowed me to provide bespoke programmes to meet the individual needs of each client and aspirant paddlesport coaches that I was mentoring.
Through my commercial experience in the outdoor industry, I have proven experience in developing and growing participation in outdoor activities through building relationships with local communities and key partners in the local community and surrounding areas. This has been achieved through outreach projects, offsite commercial delivery and providing outdoor spaces to the local community, to highlight a few examples.
My experience as an outdoor practitioner, coupled with the skills I have gained in a commercially focused role has allowed me to gain a unique experience in promoting the benefits of access to outdoor spaces during outreach events, and through building value and selling outdoor experiences. This has given me a comprehensive knowledge of how to deliver outdoor programmes and utilise the marketing skills I have gained through my commercial background. This will allow me to approach and understand individual challenges I may face when approaching a particular demographic. With this experience, I believe I am able to develop relationships whether this be approaching a local community or building a relationship with a local key partner.
Throughout my career, I have demonstrated a high level of professionalism, and operate within the recommendations of best practice from the national governing bodies for the industry, such as British Canoeing, the Royal Yachting Association, and the institute of outdoor learning.
As part of my various roles, it was my duty to be a role model of professional practice to uphold my organisations code of conduct, but also as an outdoor professional representing my industry.