UKSA Blog

On watch with Kristina Harborne

Published 27/08/2020

On watch with…

Name: Kristina Harborne

Position: Senior Education Co-ordinator

Qualifications: RYA Senior Windsurf Instructor, RYA Dinghy Instructor (keelboat & multihull endorsed), RYA Level 2 Race Coach, RYA Powerboat & Safety Boat Instructor, RYA PWC Instructor, Level 2 SUP Instructor, BSc (Hons) Health and Fitness. Various Level 3 Teaching qualifications, plus many personal ability qualifications in yachting, kayaking and canoeing.

Years at UKSA: 5+

Describe your role in ten words:

Teaching Further Education courses (post 16) in sport and watersports.

How do you define success?

Success to me is achieving something you have wanted to do or thought wasn’t possible.

How long have you been working in the maritime industry?

I’ve been working in this industry on and off for 20 years.  I first qualified as a kayak and canoeing Instructor aged 18 and carried on developing and furthering my skills and qualifications from there. I have worked in various countries within the industry, from working in watersports in Barbados to crewing on a yacht in Australia.

In-between working as a Watersports Instructor and training to work on yachts, I qualified as a sports masseuse and nutritionist, plus gained teaching qualifications working in schools.  All of these experiences and training have always brought me back into the maritime industry and have helped me to get my current job role, where I get to use and share all my knowledge and experience with my students.

What is your most memorable moment on the water?

Over the years I have developed the love for racing and have many memorable moments from competing.  I have been lucky enough to win a Nationals, inlands and a travelling series all in the same year, racing a Laser 2000.  I also had the honour of racing with the British Navy’s keelboat team in a J80.  But I think my most recent achievement of helming an XOD keelboat, throughout Cowes week last year, with an all-female crew, was amazing and was something I was never sure I would be able to do.

What is your history with UKSA?/How long have you been working at UKSA? (include here other jobs you have done at UKSA if appropriate)

I’ve been working at UKSA for over 5 years now.  I started at UKSA as an Instructor teaching the Waterports Instructor Training courses, teaching groups of people to train from complete beginners to instructor level in less than 3 months!  I then moved roles to be a Lead Watersports Instructor, a senior member of the watersports team and have now settled in the Education Department teaching the Further Education courses.  I currently teach the second year BTEC students and thoroughly love this role, as I get to use my experience of both working in schools and teaching watersports.

What is the best thing about working at UKSA?

UKSA is like a big family and I’m constantly meeting people that I have worked with or taught before.  It’s great when there is a student that I have taught, whether it be here at UKSA or elsewhere, that comes and works at UKSA.

What advice would you give someone embarking upon a Further Education at UKSA?

Just go for it.  It’s the best time to gain a Further Education qualification, whilst also training to be a Watersports Instructor or gain lots of experience and personal qualifications in the maritime industry.  If this was available to me as a teenager I would have jumped at the chance!

If you’re not sure if you want to go to university or are unsure what to study, this is a great industry to get into and can lead to many further opportunities both within this industry and around the world.  Plus, you can still gain the UCAS points to progress onto higher education if you wish.

What is your favourite thing to do when you get some time off?

I’m not very good at just sitting still, so on my time off you may find me sailing, surfing, cycling, exploring the island, or anything that involves being outside.  At the moment, my favourite thing to do to relax or even just to wake myself up in the mornings is to go sea swimming!

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