Name and Role: Mike Smith, General / Centre Manager

Qualifications:

British Canoeing - L5 Raft, L4 Kayak, L3 Canoe with 5*, SUP DSM provider, Child Protection

Mountain Training - SPA, MLT, BELA

Mountain Biking - MIAS L2

Archery - GNAS

British Cave Association - L1 Cave

Rescue 3 - SRT and WRT Instructor

Royal Yachting Association - L2 and Safety boat

Management - IOSH Managing Safely, IOSH Managing fire safely in sports facilities, Higher diploma in adventurous activities. Diploma in Leisure and Tourism.

Brief description of experience:

Michael J.R. Smith is the General Manager of Parkwood Outdoors, Dolygaer in South Wales. He has been a member of British Canoe for twenty years and has spent most of that time working in the outdoors leisure industry and travelling, - usually simultaneously.

He has worked in several countries and boated on five continents, from Argentina to New Zealand, including trips on the Zambezi in Africa and the Bohti Koshi in Nepal.  He maintains that he never misses an opportunity to get outside. He has achieved 5 stars in canoeing as well as kayaking and leads courses for Stand Up Paddleboarding. He is also an instructor for Rescue 3, passionate climber and more recently has venues underground becoming an cave instructor in many local caves.

His article discussing 'What Makes the Perfect Raft Guide' was recently published in The Paddler https://joom.ag/v1OL

Mike enjoys running courses for instructors and guides and frequently his students afford enthusiastic testaments as to his teaching abilities and water skills.  He has such a contagious passion for the outdoors that many of those under his tutelage have gone on to successful careers in the outdoors, including competitive rafters for Great Britain.

Off the water, he is married to Sara, an American originally from San Diego and they have two daughters. He enjoys taking them along on his travels and getting them involved in the outdoor world as much as possible. Although their youngest daughter has only just turned one, both girls have spent many hours on the water in boats with their father.

Mike is fully involved in the development of Parkwood Outdoors and will be running outdoor courses throughout the year. He can be contacted by email at mike.smith@parkwoodoutdoors.co.uk.

Favourite Activity: White water activities

Hobbies: Food, whiskey and socialising with friends and family.

 

 

Name and Role: Dave Robinson, Activities Manager

Qualifications:

MLTB - SPA (Single Pitch Award/Rock Climbing Instructor)

MLTB - ML Trg (Mountain Leader)

UKCC - Level 2 Kayak Coach

UKCC - SUP Instructor

DofE Assessor - Bronze, Silver, Gold

ERCA VERTEX - High Ropes Course Instructor

RYA - Safety Powerboat Certificate

GNAS - Archery Leader

AOFA - 16 Hour Mountain First Aid Certificate

EDUCARE -  Safeguarding Certificate

NSRA - Small Bore Rifle Shooting Instructor

ABTA - Mountain Boarding Instructor

NPTC - Chainsaw License for Felling and Processing Trees

Brief description of experience:

Dave has been in the Outdoors all of his life. He started in the Cubs and Scouts and progressed into the Army Cadet Force. He went on to Study Outdoor Education at College before landing his first Instructor job at the age of 18, some 14 years ago.

Dave has worked at a number of Outdoor Centres and an Expedition Company. He has experience of working with Schools (primary and Secondary), Colleges, Universities, Youth Groups, DofE Groups, Children in Care, SEN+D groups, Corporate and private clients.

On a daily basis Dave has been responsible for instructing and managing a team of instructors. This includes holding daily meetings, line managing staff, training, observing, signing staff off to lead activities and providing constructive feedback.

Dave is also responsible for a lot of the paperwork with groups including Sales/bookings, Interviewing staff, application form selection, hiring staff, logistics management of minibuses and trailers, ordering kit for activities, writing Risk Assessments/ Operating Procedures and Emergency Action Plans.

Personal experience of Winter and Summer Mountaineering, Rock Climbing across Europe, White Water Kayaking, Snowboarding, Mountain Biking, Surfing, and Stand Up paddleboarding.

Favourite Activity:

Rock Climbing and White Water Kayaking

Hobbies:

Working on my campervan, white Water Kayaking, rock climbing, socialising with family and friends, snowboarding, making sculptures with my chainsaw.

 


Name and Role: Steven Browne, Senior Instructor

Qualifications:

British Canoeing - L3 Canoe and Kayak, SUP DSM

Mountain Training - MLT and CWI

Rescue 3 - WRT -Pro

Royal Yachting Association -Senior Sailing Instructor, Powerboat instructor

Academic - Diploma in H&S

Brief description of experience:

Steven is our senior instructor and Chief sailing instructor for Parkwood outdoors. Steve has been a member of British canoeing for 26 years and has spent most of that time working in the outdoor industry. Steve enjoys the variety Dolygaer offers him.  2018 see Steve setting Dolygaer up as an RYA affiliated sailing centre. He is very passionate about the outdoors in particular sailing.

Out of work Steve is married to Naomi and they have two sons.  As a family they enjoy participating in outdoor adventure.

Favourite Activity:

Paddle boarding, sailing, kayaking and canoeing.

Hobbies: Paddle boarding with his sons and family time.

 

 

Name and Role: Josh O’dea - Apprentice Instructor

Qualifications:

British Canoeing - L1 Canoe and Kayak, SUP DSM

Gorge walking instructor

Rescue 3 - WRT -Pro

Academic - BTEC L2

Brief description of experience:

Josh is the young gun of our team first visiting us through his college course gaining his paddle sports skill awards. In 2018 Josh was taken on as an apprentice instructor and since then has not looked back.  Josh's enthusiasm for the outdoors in particular Stand Up Paddle boarding make him a fun instructor to be around. Since joining our team Josh has become a paddle sports instructor, gorge walker and with the list of training courses he has booked in will soon have lots more experience to write about.

From an early age the outdoors has always called Josh, may it be on two wheels or two feet and we are happy to have him working for us.

Favourite Activity:

Paddle boarding and mountain biking

Hobbies: Paddle boarding, Climbing and taking the bins out.

 

 

Name and Role: Harry Williams, Instructor

Qualifications:

Mountain Training - Mountain Leader, BELA and SPA

Rescue 3 - WRT -Pro

Mountain Bike - CTC trail Leader. JDP L1 and 2

Academic - Diploma in H&S

BCA - L1T

Academic - Degree in Outdoor Adventure education

Brief description of experience:

Harry is the newest member of our team. He has been into outdoor activities all his life becoming a mountain bike instructor at 17 and working in Whistler bike park in Canada.

He has worked as a freelance instructor for several companies and lead overseas expeditions in Morocco and Canada.  He spends almost all his freetime outside practising the activities he enjoys, mostly climbing and mountain biking.

Harry enjoys delivering activities to clients and always makes sessions exciting and enjoyable.

Favourite Activity: Climbing

Hobbies: Climbing and mountain biking

How to book

It’s important to us that you book the right activities and accommodation for your group at a suitable price. We tailor all of our packages to include the perfect activities and accommodation to suit your group. We’ll give you the most up to date availability and advise you of any clothing or any additional items that you may wish to bring for your comfort. To discuss your requirements or to make a booking with us, just give us a call on 01685 848309. We may politely request a small deposit to secure your booking which is payable over the phone.

01685 848 309

Enquire Online

Contact us today on: 01685 848 309

Contact Us

Business Hours

Opening Days:

  • Monday   09:00 - 17:00
  • Tuesday   09:00 - 17:00
  • Wednesday   09:00 - 17:00
  • Thursday   09:00 - 17:00
  • Friday   09:00 - 17:00
  • Saturday   09:00 - 17:00
  • Sunday   09:00 - 17:00

About Us

Parkwood Outdoors Dolygaer is an activity centre based in the south of the Brecon Beacons, just a 15 minute drive from Merthyr Tydfil. We offer a fantastic range of activities suitable for all ages and abilities

Address

Parkwood Outdoors Dolygaer Pontsticill Merthyr Tydfil CF48 2UR