My name is James Mackenzie, I am a watersports instructor and I have just finished my first season abroad working for Horizon Watersports, Nydri, Lefkada.
Horizon Watersports pride themselves on having a relaxed yet professional atmosphere, and my journey working for them was exactly that, relaxed yet very professional. I first heard about Horizon from one of my colleagues when I worked at a Centre in Wales called Plas Menai. She had worked with them in the past and encouraged me to investigate them as a possibility for work. I was already looking at a few other companies for work during the summer and I had already sent off job applications to a few of them. However, I was instantly attracted to Horizon Watersports, the primary reason I liked them was the story of how the company was created. Horizon’s initial start up funds of £15,000 was accumulated by using a Crowdfunder platform. Crowdfunder UK is a website which enables you to promote your idea and seek pledges from people who wish to see that idea come to life. Horizon Watersports said that however much money they raised in the Crowdfunder they would give that same amount back to charity once up and running!
This is their 4th year as a company and so far they have raised a total of £12,000 for charity!
The three charities that they support are Sail4cancer, Firefly International and their Instructor Training Foundation. This story combined with their commitment and their passion to making sure that everyone who comes to us leaves with a smile on their face, is the reason that I was attracted to work here.
So, what is it like at work?
As an instructor, your main aim and job is to provide watersports sessions in your chosen sport/sports and to make them fun and safe with as much learning as possible. As a result, your average day will start at 09:00 with a morning meeting where the staff will outline their plan/plans of their sessions for the day. The supervisor will then improve on them with you to ensure that you are giving the best session possible. As a team you will then get the Centre ready for opening at 10:00. Between 10:00 and 13:30 you can be doing a wide variety of jobs which range from running sessions to manning a safety boat and working on the beach making sure all the equipment is in the correct condition to go out onto the water. You take it turns to do everything and you soon start to gel as a team.
You can’t help it really as you live and work with the same group of friends all summer.
At 13:30 you take an hour break for lunch. Then more of the same in the afternoon. A lot of our guests come to us for more than one day, so it’s fun getting to know them throughout their holiday. Your day will end sometime after 18:30, once you have packed everything away and had an end of day meeting to talk about how the day went and plan tomorrow.
Another part of my job this summer was to organise a small charity event, which I decided was a charity darts night. These charity nights are a regular feature throughout the season allowing us to earn money for charity and allowing staff to gain experience organizing these sorts of events. Like everything we do the emphasis was on fun, but the aim was to raise money - and we did!
In conclusion, I think Horizon Watersports is a great company to work for. They have provided me with the opportunity to meet many amazing new people and to continue to expand my skills as an instructor. They have given me the privilege of passing on my passion for watersports to a wide variety of people. I am lucky enough to have been offered a job for the summer season of 2019, as a trainee supervsior.
Come down to our beach in Nydri. I can’t wait to show you why I love my job and why I love watersports!