BISKS Coaches

We have been fortunate to attract some great coaches in 2015 and 2016. Here’s a flavour of the calibre and quality of coaches who have worked at BISKS in the past.

The Coaches…..


Doug Cooper

Doug is a BCU Level 5 sea and white water coach who works at Glenmore Lodge, near Aviemore in Scotland’s National Outdoor Centre. Much of his time is spent delivering and developing the coaching and leadership awards for the BCU. Over the years he has helped lots of people progress in their learning and skill development. As an accomplished writer, Doug has produced many articles and had a number of books published about sea kayaking. As someone who is always keen to help support and inspire people with their paddling, he has agreed to help out this weekend!

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Doug Cooper


Rowland Woollven

Currently celebrating his 50th year of paddling, Rowland now concentrates mainly on the sea, having in the past experienced the varied delights of sprint, long distance and marathon paddling, whitewater racing, down river touring, slalom, surf and canoe polo! He has expedition experience in Canada, Alaska, Norway and France. In 2012 Rowland completed the circumnavigation of Great Britain, becoming the 19th person to do so, the oldest paddler so far and the first to do it with a Greenland-style paddle.

As well as being a BCU Level 5 Sea Coach and Level 3 Surf Coach, he is a member of the WEMSI-International teaching faculty presenting Wilderness First Responder and Wilderness Emergency Medical Technician courses across Europe. Based in Oban, Rowland is the author of ‘Sticking With It – A Sea Kayak Odyssey Around Britain’.

Find out more at: www.rwoollven.co.uk

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Rowland Woollven


Kate Duffus

Kate is a BCU level 5 sea kayak coach. She works freelance at a number of centres and has her own business, offering bespoke coaching and guided trips. Kate spends most of her spare time paddling Scottish coastlines, so much so that she has recently moved up to Skye. Shetland is another favourite destination. Failing that she’ll be grovelling somewhere in a cave underneath Yorkshire.

Find out more at www.katespaddling.com.

Kate Duffus


Steve Mackinnon

Steve Mackinnon’s a local lad who took up kayaking later in life after leaving the military, became engrossed in it and currently spends three seasons of the year in various boats as a Level 3 sea kayak, surf kayak and open canoe coach, alongside a Level 5 inland ticket and skis Nordic, Telemark and Alpine in the Winter. He’s currently having fun progressing as a sprint coach and enjoying the Scottish sea kayak racing circuit. He has enjoyed various club and SCA volunteer roles over the past twenty years.

Steve Mackinnon


Ian Bowler

Ian is a BCU Level 4 sea, Level 4 open canoe and Level 4 white water coach.  Ian has kayaked in remote places from Papa Stour in Shetland, to Patagonia, and quite a few places in between including Canada, New Zealand and Japan. His favourite local spots are the Western Isles and Ireland’s south and west coast.  He’s a qualified teacher of the deaf and works full time as a teacher of children with additional support needs. He’s was previously a director of Adventures Unlimited Scotland (CIC) and was the co-organiser of the first Black Isle Sea Kayak Symposium in 2015.

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Ian Bowler


John Crowsley

John is a BCU Level 3 sea kayak coach, holds the BCU level 3 WW kayak qualification and is also a UKCC level 3 Canoe Coach as well as holding his 4 star leader qualification. John is a provider for UKCC level 1 as a tutor and Course director. He is also a level 2 provider. John also provides 1 & 2 star, 3 star sea, ww kayak and canoeing awards. John’s recent sea trips include the Scottish west coast and a 10 day expedition in Turkey. John’s other activities include rock climbing, mountaineering and caving and he is based in Scourie in the kingdom of Sutherland. Find Handa Island and come south a bit! I know we’re all dead jealous!

John Crowsley

John Crowsley


Bonnie A. Perry

There is nothing that Bonnie loves more than coaching and guiding sea kayaking in the wilderness – and Scotland has offered her both opportunities. Bonnie had the opportunity to intern with Gordon Brown at Skyak Adventures on the Isle of Skye and has paddled and trained extensively with Rowland Woollven in Oban on the West Coast of Scotland.

When Bonnie is not in a boat paddling, playing or coaching she is the Rector/Senior Pastor at All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Chicago, Illinois. 

Bonnie is an American Canoe Association (ACA) Level 4 Instructor Trainer and in the British Canoe Union (BCU) she is a Level 3 Sea Coach, a 3 Star Assessor and a 5 Star sea paddler. She is also a UKCC Level 3 Trainee Coach, a 3 star canoe paddler and Level 2 Paddle Canada Instructor as well as a Wilderness First Responder. Comfortable with both Euro (Modern) and Greenland (Traditional) blades, Bonnie teaches regularly at the Mid-Western and East Coast US Kayak symposiums.

Bonnie_Perry

Find out more at: www.allsaintschicago.org


Barney Johnston

Barney is a qualified Craft, Design and Technology teacher and a director of Adventures Unlimited Scotland. A BCU Level 3 sea kayak coach, Barney also has lots of canoeing and climbing certificates from a previous career working for Outward Bound.

Barney Johnston


Tosh (aka Alistair Mackintosh)

Tosh is one of the key members of the team as he drives the safety boat over the course of the weekend, just in case help might be required. He’s a qualified Craft, Design and Technology teacher and is a director of AUS. With interests in powerboating, piloting rescue boats for AUS and BISKS, driving a porsche and riding a big motorbike, you get the picture!! Tosh has also organised many expeditions to Gambia and Tanzania for Inverness kids over a long time. He retires from teaching this year after about 40 years!

“Tosh”


We have also compiled a list of the Organisers and Volunteers for the Symposium. Their details are also provided on the “Organisers and Volunteers” page.