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Monday 20 January 2014

Happy birthday Solent Maritime Academy!

This year, Southampton Solent University is celebrating 25 years of outdoor adventure and maritime-related courses.

As part of the celebrations, industry, alumni, staff and students had the opportunity to hear about how the course programme started, current successes and exciting new developments at a special event on Friday 17 January.

Guest speakers from the worlds of sailing, ski and outdoor education spoke about their experiences, successes and the future of their industries.

Broadcaster, writer and founder of Survival School Ltd, Jonny Crockett, gave tips on surviving the industry; Pip Tyler, overseas director at Neilson, spoke about how to become an award winning tour operator; and alumni Glyn Brackenbury shared his successes in outdoor education at Skern Lodge.

Ian Harris, Director of Sport, Tourism and Languages at the University, has been driving course developments in this area for the last 20 years. He says: “Solent’s success in this field is its ability to stay ahead of the game and ensure that courses meet both student expectations and the demands of a fast-moving industry.”

The attraction of outdoor and adventure pursuits continues to contribute billions to the global economy.  The European Outdoor Group (2011) has identified continued growth in the outdoor market with estimated annual turnover of over €40 billion.

Keeping pace with industry developments, Solent has continued to deliver a wide range of courses over the years including specialist courses in maritime leisure and water sports through to adventure and extreme sports.

“Living in a society increasingly obsessed with health and safety, more people are looking for adventure in their leisure pursuits,” says Ian, a keen sailor.

“This anniversary aims to celebrate the history, development and success of our maritime and outdoor courses, and showcase our vision for the future of this exciting area of study.”