Case studies

Shaun Priestley

From seeing no future in his career path, to coaching in the Olympics

Before starting a career in watersports, Shaun saw no future in the career path he was pursuing. Fast forward to present day, and he is now coaching the Ilca 6 Bermudian athlete in the Paris 2024 Olympics.

Prior to beginning his Watersports Instructor Training at UKSA, Shaun was at college studying for a diploma in sports. Recognising that Shaun wasn’t enthusiastic about college, Shaun’s Dad suggested he look into Watersports courses at UKSA. After researching the course Shaun soon enrolled at UKSA and took the first step towards his dream career.

“My fondest memories of the course are sailing and windsurfing day in, day out. My time in Cowes opened my eyes to the opportunities within the sailing and watersports world.”

Since completing his training Shaun has had quite the career, working across many different sectors of the industry around the globe. Shaun is a World championship medal winning coach, with experience in national and international sailing centre management, business development, has written national training schemes for the RYA and has even created and implemented performance sail training programmes.

“Some of my career highlights include managing training centres on Lake Garda, becoming a Youth World Champion Coach, supporting sailor Sebastian Kempe at the Youth World Championships in Oman, and most recently I have been performance coaching Bermudian sailor Adriana Penruddocke, in preparation for the 2024 Paris Olympics.”

Shaun is hugely passionate about the positive effects sailing and watersports have on individuals from a variety of different abilities and backgrounds.

“The best thing about being an instructor is the opportunities it creates in all areas of the industry, the travel and the people you meet along the way.”

When we asked Shaun what advice he would give to somebody considering doing UKSA’s Watersports Instructor Training course he said:

“Absolutely go for it. This industry is full of exciting opportunities. It’s not only good for gap year fun, but it’s also a route into so many different areas of the maritime industry and UKSA is perfectly placed to support this.”

Share your #SeaChangeStories

You can share your #SeaChangeStories across social media, please email us with your story and remember to send us your photos too.