David Robinson

Corporate Development Officer

As courses manager David has been in charge of the provision and development of LOPC’s courses for a few years now. If you have any questions about attending any courses or developing your outdoor skills he is more than happy to help, just email on si@lopc.co.uk.

David has been kayaking for over 15 years with a wide breadth of experience paddling in places such as Norway, Italy, France and Austria being the career highlights. David is also a keen canoeist and has enjoyed many aspects of the sport including paddling on open lochs in Scotland, white water rivers, racing events and camping expeditions. When not paddling David can be found rock climbing, mountain biking and climbing mountains. Qualifications include: Bsc Outdoor Recreation Management, BCU L3 Kayak Coach, BCU L2 Canoe Coach, MLTE Single Pitch Award, MLTE Mountain Leader (Trained) plus many more.

Chris Murnin

Deputy Manager

Chris has spent a large part of his life outdoors. More recently in the hills of north Wales and Scotland or the sea cliffs of Dorset. Using this experience to become a well established rock climbing instructor and qualified mountain leader, holding both the MLTE Single Pitch Award and MLTE Mountain Leader Award. Dedicated to the mountain environment at home and abroad, there isn’t much Chris doesn’t know about climbing and rope work.

Chris is also very much part of the paddling world enjoying the excitement of white water kayaking. Currently a BCU Level 2 Kayak and UKCC L2 coach. A strong believer in ‘learning through doing’ and likes to spend as little time in a class room as possible.
Chris currently coaches 1* and 2* paddle sport awards and level 1 and 2 NICAS
courses, as well as NNAS and bespoke navigational courses.

Steve Vincent

Senior Instructor & AAP Manager

A keen rock climber/mountaineer, Steve has climbed crags all over the UK
such as Wales, Peak district, Scotland, Lake district and Cornwall.
Highlights include classics such as Flying Buttress Direct at Stanage and
Outside Edge Route at Craig Yr Ogof (136 meters)

Steve’s passion is being in the mountains, more remote the better, his words ‘pure escapism’. Steve is also a kayak/canoe paddler and paddled various rivers and lakes in The Midlands, Wales and the Lake district.

Steve is very experienced and his outdoor career spans over 14 years.
Frequently asked for by various customers Steve is very much a fun
instructor to be around who always has a smile on his face. Qualifications
include: MLTE Single Pitch Award, BCU Level 2 Kayak Coach and BCU 3 star
Canoe Award, Basic expedition leader award plus many more

Bhavesh Ramji

Senior Instructor

Bhavesh started his outdoor career working for outdoor centres in Surrey and then in Cumbria where he developed a deep interest in Rock Climbing and Canoeing. Climbing for 8+ Years Bhavesh has a wealth of knowledge and experience in this area. A talented climber himself he leads at a 6a+ and has climbed all over England as far north as Northumberland and south as Swanage on the south coast. Bhavesh is known throughout the centre for his grit and determination and ‘can do’ attitude when it comes to climbing, happy to take plenty of falls if it means completing that route he’s struggling on. He holds the MLTE Single Pitch Award and is trained in MLTE Mountain Leader. Currently coaches both level 1 & 2 of NICAS

Bhavesh also holds the BCU 3 Star Award in both Canoe and Kayak and is a qualified BCU Level 2 Canoe Coach. He is also currently working towards holding the UKCC L2 Coaching Award.

Louis Wicking

Freelance Instructor

Louis has worked professionally within the Outdoor Industry for four years and has been coaching sport for seven. Louis has an Honorary Degree in Adventure Sports Coaching he is also a UKCC Level 2 PaddleSport Coach (striving for Moderate Water Coaching status), a Royal Yachting Association Dinghy Instructor (Inland), a MICAS Mountain Biking Leader and a Southern Sandstone Leader.

Louis’ passions include Climbing, White Water Kayaking, Mountain Biking and generally mucking about in open spaces. His ambitions for the future include passing the Single Pitch Award Assessment and developing himself to be able to coach on moving water in a Kayak.

Katy Groom

Bookings Coordinator and Instructor

Katy started kayaking at school in 1996. She then carried on paddling at Bicton College while she studied for her National Diploma in Outdoor Recreation. She became a BCU Level 2 Kayak Coach in 2003, and in the same season gained her BCU 4 Star Kayak award in the French Alps. Her love for canoeing became a way of life on the Ardeche in the south of France, working here for 5 months each year from 2003 to 2005. Katy completed her BCU Level 3 Canoe Training in Wales in December ’04 before passing her assessment in April ’05.  She then updated her training to the new UKCC endorsed Level 3 course in 2014.  She has paddled rivers in the Massif Central in France, French Alps, Wales, The Peak district, Devon and Cornwall and also paddled on Lochs and rivers in Scotland. With a wide breadth of knowledge in coaching paddlesport, Katy has been assisting with running the Level 1 and 2 coaching courses since 2009, is an FSRT provider and a Bell Boat Helm Tutor.  She hopes to become a coach educator by 2018.  Other passions are climbing and snowboarding, which she does as often as time and money allow.

Stuart Fraser

Centre Manager

New to the role as an Outdoor Pursuit Centre Manager in 2017, I have spent the past 15 years developing people in the Retail Environment, helping colleagues through NVQ Level 1, 2 & 3 in Customer Services, supporting Graduates through to Management positions & developing skilled colleagues.  Already a member of the British Exploring Society, since joining the LOPC I have also become an active member of AHOEC  (Association of Heads of Outdoor Education).   Working with the Local Safeguarding Children's Board & other Community Organisations, I am passionate about forming relationships with partnership organisations and schools who can benefit from shared resources.   

Chief Medical Officer guidelines recommend that all children and young people aged 5 to 18 engage in at least 60 minutes of physical activity a day, of which 30 minutes should be in school.  At the LOPC we provide health & education benefits for young people by introduce new sports and other activities, encouraging more pupils to take up sport and physical activities.

BUT it's not just schools & young people we focus on providing activities from 5 years old to 105 years old, supporting active ageing to improve the health & well-being of those over 65 too.

Paul Taylor

Lead Instructor

Paul has a great wealth of knowledge of the outdoors, he grew up in North Yorkshire where he started camping with his family in the 1950’s at the age of 4. He learned lots of Camping and Bushcraft skills through the Scout Association, and is still involved today as a County Skills Instructor for Leicestershire.

Through Scouting Paul became involved in Canoeing and Kayaking. In 2005 he was part of the Water Team for the European Scout Jamboree held on Alton Water in Suffolk. This was practice for the 2007 World Jamboree also held at Alton Water. Paul was part of the Kayak Team that launched over 500 kayaks each morning and each afternoon.

Recently Paul has enjoyed the last 4 Summers working as an Assistant Guide Sea Kayaking on the Island of Milos, Greece.

Paul has been involved with the Leicester Outdoor Pursuit Centre for over 13 years. Qualifications include: BCU Level 3 Kayak Coach, BCU Level 3 Canoe Coach, BCU Bellboat Helm, RYA Powerboat Level 2, British and England Fencing – Fencing Activity Leader, The National Small-Bore Rifle Association Diploma [National Youth Proficiency Scheme] IOL Institute of Outdoor Learning Bushcraft Competency Certificate.

Steven Drake

Freelance Instructor

Steven is an SPA qualified climbing instructor who has been working professionally for 2 years. He grew up on the small island of Portland where his obsession with climbing started. He took on the challenge of becoming a climbing instructor after being appointed the Nottingham Trent University Climbing Club’s president. He has worked for many climbing walls where I delivered NICAS levels 1, 2 and 3.

Most of his time has been spent working throughout the U.K’s mountain ranges, most notably the Peak District with its world class grit stone edges and limestone quarries. He has a passion for winter climbing and winter walking, where he can be found most winters scaling frozen water falls of Chamonix or negotiating the Munros in Scotland.

Andy Oughton

Freelance Instructor

Andy leapt at the challenge to develop his love of the outdoors following retirement from a career in print and graphic design. Andy has, since an early age, enjoyed the possibilities the countryside offers, particularly for paddling. Equally, he appreciates the opportunities being active in the outdoors gives to work with groups of all ages, sharing his skills and interests.

Andy is a Paddlesport Coach Educator and holds coaching awards for both paddling and land activities. Andy’s focus on working with young adults is the reason for him completing his Duke of Edinburgh assessor qualification this year.

He is chairman of PaddlePlus Canoe Club that meets at the Centre and a representative on various bodies to do with local waterways, including the Canal & River Trust. Andy is also the Canoe England Local Coaching Officer for Leicestershire.

Rachel Frost

Freelance Instructor

Rachel has been kayaking from the age of 15 and loves being in/on the water. Whilst she mostly paddles local waterways around Leicestershire and Derbyshire, she does enjoy the occasional white-water trip elsewhere in the UK. Rachel is also a member of the Scout Association Activity Team.

Rachel is a BCU Level 2 Coach, a PADI and BSAC Open Water SCUBA and Speciality Instructor, Emergency First Response First Aid/Manual Handling Instructor and holds an ASA certificate for the teaching of swimming.

Keith Hampton

Technical Advisor

Keith has been involved with Leicester Outdoor Pursuit centre for over 30 years and has been paddling for over 40 years. He was a key figure in the establishment of the centre as it is today and has a strong connection and commitment to the centre and its ethos for bringing adventure opportunities to the people of Leicester.

He is a BCU level 5 coach and is involved in the training, mentoring and assessment of coaches across paddlesport and now works for the BCU and Canoe England in the development of the UKCC awards for coaching. He is the lead IV /QA officer for coach education courses and is national coordinator for White water safety & Rescue for Canoe England.

He has wealth of experience as a white water paddler and coach, paddling and guiding many of the major rivers of Europe, central and north America, Africa, Asia and the Himalayas.

His experience and knowledge in competition both as paddler and coach covers Slalom, Sprint and Marathon, WWR and Freestyle with his athletes having success at national, international and Olympic level.

More recently Keith has undertaken new and more personal adventures, from paddling in Svalbard in the Arctic circle in 2010, solo sea kayaking around Mull in 2011 and is paddling the Grand Canyon in summer 2012.

He has made contributions to paddlesport publications and looks to continue working in the development of the sport, coaching and coach education and the continued success of Leicester Outdoor Pursuits Centre.

Howard Jeffs

Technical Advisor

Howard Jeffs has been sea kayaking for nearly 40 years, and in 1983 became the youngest BCU Level 5 Sea Coach of the time. The following year he achieved the same with position with the Mountaineering Instructors Certificate. Although very fortunate to have worked and paddled in most of Europe, Arctic Norway, Svalbard and Greenland, North America, Sri Lanka, Maldives and the Galapagos Islands, his love for the diverse west coast of Britain still remains ever strong.

His particular passion is the west coast of Scotland and her mountains in the winter. As well as an author, involved in sea kayak design and manufacturing, he is also an enthusiastic yachtsman.

Visit him at howardjeffs.com or contact him at h.n.jeffs@btinternet.com

Chris Forbes

Freelance Instructor

Chris is a British Fencing Associate Level 3 Fencing Coach, and Sports Coach UK Level 3 Coach Tutor. He is the East Midlands Regional Cadets Squad Head Coach, as well as the Head Coach for his Nottingham based Fencing Club “A&C”.

With 20+ years of competitive fencing experience, Chris most recently won a Bronze Medal at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in the Men’s Team Foil event, before hanging up his fencing boots to concentrate on his coaching.

Since then he has started to help train some of the best young fencers in the country, with a few of his students now gaining selection to the British Fencing Academy and representing GB abroad. He has also continuously delivered coach development and Fencing Activity Leader Award courses to help bring on the next generation of Fencing Coaches.

Andrew Nimmo

Freelance Instructor

Andrew has been shooting for longer than he cares to mention and has been coaching young people for the last 10 years. He is an NSRA County Coach which makes him just as responsible for training adult instructors as it does coaching shooters. Andrew is in charge of training and development with the GB Junior Rifle Squad and is one of the senior coaches looking after the development of some of the UK’s top junior shooters. At a club level Andrew works with junior shooters from as young as 8 based in a Buxton Scout Group. This group has developed many shooters who have shot for the National Scout Shooting Team and 4 shooters who have represented Great Britain as juniors, winning quite a few international medals.

Pauline Olivant

Orienteering Coach

Pauline Olivant is a National Tutor for British Orienteering and is a qualfied Level 4 coach. As co-author of the material she has a really good in depth knowledge of Teaching Orienteering. She has delivered several very successful courses at the LOPC in the last few years.