OPC Tongariro appoints passionate new Centre Manager

Press Release – Sir Edmund Hillary Outdoor Pursuits Centre

A career outdoor instructor and UK champion in mountain-bike orienteering has been appointed Centre Manager at OPC’s Tongariro base. Janet Prier has immigrated to New Zealand to take up the appointment after a 26-year career in outdoor education …OPC Tongariro appoints passionate new Centre Manager

A career outdoor instructor and UK champion in mountain-bike orienteering has been appointed Centre Manager at OPC’s Tongariro base.

Janet Prier has immigrated to New Zealand to take up the appointment after a 26-year career in outdoor education in the UK, most recently as the manager of an outdoor education centre in the north-west of England.

Janet will lead the Tongariro team in providing quality and safe outdoor education for the hundreds of students who visit the centre each year.

Janet says she faced a choice upon graduating as a teacher in 1986: become a maths teacher, or work in the outdoors. The sports lover picked the latter for “purely selfish reasons”, figuring it would give her the chance to develop her own skills and play in the outdoors.

She soon began to realise the power of outdoor education to develop confidence, humility and teamwork in young people. She has worked in outdoor education ever since.

“Outdoor education can have life-changing effects on people, but for me the rewards can be very simple. Just seeing the growth in confidence in one shy child in the space of a day is amazing, and a privilege to witness.”

As well as having 11 years of experience in managing the busy Lanehead Outdoor Education Centre in Cumbria, Janet is highly qualified in hands-on outdoor teaching, including in caving, orienteering, mountaineering, mountain biking, kayaking and boating.

She has a Bachelor of Science in physical education, sports science and mathematics and a post-graduate certificate in physical education with outdoor education.

In her time off, she is a keen skier, sailor and mountain biker. She has represented the UK in mountain-bike orienteering at world championship level and is a three-time UK national champion in the sport. She has completed the 600 km TransAlp Challenge in the European Alps, considered the world’s most challenging mountain bike race.

Janet takes up her new post in mid-February.

The Sir Edmund Hillary Outdoor Pursuits Centre of New Zealand has been built on the legacy of Sir Ed and Graeme Dingle nearly 40 years ago. Education is still being valued as OPC’s primary benefit during the rich outdoor learning experiences.

OPC’s school programmes are about ‘seeking summits’ on many levels. OPC develops tomorrow’s leaders by building spirit, a strong sense of group unity, camaraderie and valuable socials skills that last a lifetime in unique and unspoiled New Zealand settings.

Programmes take place at OPC centres in Tongariro and Great Barrier Island, as well as nationwide events including the Genesis Energy Hillary Challenge for senior students (year 12 and 13), the YouthTown Get2Go for junior students (year 9 and 10), and NavQuest for all secondary school level students, their families and interested public.

ENDS

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