Staff profile

Derek Burdett

Senior Technical Adviser - Outdoor

Kayaking on the River Soca in Slovenia


Outdoor and Adventure Sport


College of Life and Natural Sciences


School of Human Sciences


Buxton Campus



I am the Senior Technician for the Outdoor Leadership and Adventure Sports Coaching Degree Programmes. This means that I work at Oaklands Manor in Buxton, delivering practical coaching and theoretical sessions, maintaining equipment and managing the logistics for the staffing and transport required for the practical sessions, fieldwork days and residential trips.

Teaching responsibilities

I teach on various practical activities but I am primarily the Paddlesport Coach, developing students' personal, leadership and coaching skills in canoe and kayak.

I have the pleasure of taking students on a kayaking trip to Slovenia where we paddle the clear waters of the river Soča, then head to Italy for the King of the Alps extreme kayak race.

Membership of professional bodies

British Canoeing

Mountain Training

Rescue Emergency Care


Experience in industry

I started working as an Outdoor Instructor in 1994, completing various National Governing Body qualifications during a 12-month training course in North Wales. 

Over the following years, I worked at centres and freelanced throughout the UK - Cornwall, Devon, Isle of Wight, South Wales, North Wales, Midlands, Peak District, Lake District, Scotland - and in France, Italy and Switzerland, instructing and coaching: abseiling, canoeing, caving, climbing, dragon boating, kayaking, mountaineering, mountain biking, sailing, skiing, snorkelling, white-water rafting.

In 2003, I started work as the Research and Development Manager for World Challenge Expeditions, developing activities and expeditions within the UK. I was also part of the team who trained potential leaders and delivered the UK training for school teams before their overseas expeditions. As an Expedition Leader, I have taken groups to Chile, Croatia, Ecuador, Iceland, Namibia, Nepal, Norway, Malaysia, Morocco, and Uganda.

In the media

The Paddler Magazine - Slovenia and King of the Alps Article

Recent publications

I published a book titled The Adventure Toolkit through Vertebrate Publishing. The book contains advice, activities and games for instructors, coaches and teachers who lead outdoor activities.