Jez Parker, a second year trainee, gives an insight into Rock UK's Instructor Training Programme and his future plans.
Every year we run a free 1 or 2 year instructor training programme for young people which combines faith, learning and adventure. Jez Parker, aged 19 from Kent, is in his second year of the programme.
What attracted you to Rock UK?
I’d been to Rock UK with my church and seen the strong community the instructors had and wanted to be a part of it. I’d never done any of the sports before, but that added to the excitement!
What were the other trainees like?
Living with 19 other people has its challenges, but I can honestly say that I have never felt closer to a group of people. There is a real community, with such a diverse mix of backgrounds, upbringings and experiences of faith. I have definitely made some lifelong friends.
What was your first year like?
I was expecting the training to be intense, but I was surprised at the amount of support I received, both physically and spiritually.
How has this experience changed you?
Before joining I thought I was a fairly confident guy, but over the last year I’ve come out of my shell when I didn’t even realise I had a shell! I have become more confident in working with children and young people, public speaking and in my walk with God.
What was the best part?
I thoroughly enjoyed the amount of amazing new opportunities we’ve been given. We’ve learnt so many new outdoor activities from archery to kayaking. If I had to choose one, it would be learning to abseil.
What are you planning to do when you finish the programme?
I am going to university to study primary education to be a teacher. Something that I feel working at Rock UK has greatly equipped me to do. After two years of teaching in the outdoors, I hope I can bring that same enthusiasm, energy and excitement to the classroom.
To find out more about the programme visit rockuk.org/itp