Get to know us

Established in 1976, Rockley is a family run business lead by husband and wife team, Peter and Lis Gordon and assisted by some of the most experienced and qualified staff in the country!

We are lucky enough to have a wonderful passionate and enthusiastic qualified team of experts who aim to always provide outstanding training and unrivalled experiences for all. Here's your chance to get to know them!

Peter Gordon - description image

Peter Gordon

Owner, Financial Director

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Apart from a brief stint of 5 months 10 days as an accountant (no, he didn’t fail, he just saw the light out of the window one day!) Peter has been at Rockley since he was 13.

He has three incredible children who have grown up too fast, loves sailing, skiing, wakeboarding and drinking G&T! He also spends quite a lot of time coaching at his sailing club during the week, making him almost too busy to work!

Qualifications: RYA Coach Assessor, RYA Powerboat Instructor, Accounts wizz

At Rockley since: A lifetime

Peter Gordon - description image
Lis Gordon - description image

Lis Gordon

Owner

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Lis started at Rockley as a sailing instructor in the mid 80’s and the rest, as they say, is history….! An avid sailor and walker, you are also likely to see Lis enjoying some open water swimming (or dipping depending on which month it is!)

Qualifications: Was an RYA Instructor back in the day!

At Rockley since: Just short of a lifetime

Lis Gordon - description image
Pip Woods - description image

Pip Woods

Managing Director

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Pip joined the team in 2003 as the first ever RYA Onboard Development officer when Rockley was chosen as the pilot centre for the scheme. She progressed on to Sales & Marketing Director and then took over as Managing Director. She is a member of the British Marine Boat Show Board and is Chair of the RYA Participation and Membership Committee.

Pip is passionate about the outdoors and and plays hockey to an exceptional standard. In 2018 she earned her place in the England over 45s hockey team and in August 2018 they came home from the World Cup in Barcelona with a silver medal!

Qualifications: RYA Dinghy Scheme Trainer; RYA Powerboat Instructor

At Rockley since: 2003

Pip Woods - description image
Jack Clark - description image

Jack Clark

Head of Sales and Marketing

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As Head of Sales and Marketing, Jack is responsible for ensuring all of Rockley's centres are bustling with lots of lovely clients, from schools to individuals and beyond. 

The life and soul of all parties, he is never happier than when dancing and singing! A big fan of skiing, he also takes looking stylish on the slopes, very seriously! He has four gorgeous daughters, loves football (not as much as his girls!) and is a huge fan of the Saints.

Qualifications: Degree in Outdoorsy Stuff

At Rockley Since: 2010

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Greg Haylock - description image

Greg Haylock

Head of Operations

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Aka 'Mini', although he has been with us for so long that we can’t remember now how he got that nickname! In charge of running the operational part of the business, he never panics, always has everything under control and has a gorgeous bull dog called Bella who is now a fixture in the office!

Qualifications: RYA Senior Dinghy Instructor; RYA Senior Windsurf Instructor, RYA Powerboat Instructor, SUP Instructor Level 1, Mountain Bike Leader Level 4

At Rockley since: 1999

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Kat Sargent - description image

Kat Sargent

Head of People

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It all started with a 6 week Dinghy Instructor course way back when. Fast forward many years later, Kat has been a Centre Manager in France and Poole Park and now looks after the recruitment side of the business full time. No mean feat when you consider we get thousands of applications. 

She's always a ray of light in the office, and loves nothing more than catching up with all the staff across our UK and French centres!

Qualifications: Rockley IDC graduate, RYA Senior Instructor

At Rockley since: 2009

Kat Sargent - description image
Clare Hicks - description image

Clare Hicks

Head of Education

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As a former Head of Curriculum at a local sixth form college and also having worked for Pearson, our exam board, Clare brings a wealth of knowledge to the team and an overarching approach to quality. In other words, she’s super organised!

Having travelled the world as an Instructor and Ski Rep, Clare really knows and understands what the outdoors industry can bring to an individual. She lives and breathes what she preaches and describes herself as surfer, snowboarder, day dreamer, traveller, coffee lover, creative thinker and definitely one of life's positive thinkers!

Qualifications: RYA Dinghy Instructor, RYA Windsurf Instructor, PE Teacher, Hockey Coach!

At Rockley since: August 2018

Clare Hicks - description image
Cassandra Preston - description image

Cassandra Preston

Marketing Manager

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Cassy is a whizz at graphic design and has helped Rockley transform its marketing “collateral” from the home spun to the professional. She has two very gorgeous children, is half Greek / half Irish, loves camping, enjoys a shandy or rose in the summer (preferably whilst camping) and can be often seen running along the beach.

A very keen runner, her best time for a marathon is a few minutes over 3 hours 30 and ran the Bournemouth half Marathon with the Rockley Team in aid of Julia's House in 1 hour 32 mins.

Qualifications: Degree in Marketing

At Rockley since: 1999

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Valerie Honeywill - description image

Valerie Honeywill

Finance Officer & Sales Support

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Valerie works tirelessly to ensure that all our accounts are in order and is never found, even on the dullest day, without a smile on her face. She is the life and soul of any Rockley party and therefore was ideally placed and willing to be appointed Company Social Secretary.

She enjoys skiing and netball, can often be seen on the golf course and enjoys the odd sundowner or two on a Friday!

Qualifications: Numbers big or small

At Rockley since: 2005

Valerie Honeywill - description image
Lucy Clark - description image

Lucy Clark

Finance Officer & HR Assistant

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Lucy is no stranger to Rockley, as her husband Jack has been with the company for years! Rockley is very much part of her family with their four young girls growing up around the water and all the activities the company has to offer! 

Lucy works alongside Val in Accounts, making them an unstoppable duo. She also assists Kat with recruiting across all of Rockley's centres. Aside from being hugely busy with her girls, Lucy still finds time to be a demon on the netball court. And if she claims not to be competitive....well that's just a lie!

At Rockley since: January 2022

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Sara Holt - description image

Sara Holt

Sales Advisor

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Sara is probably the most travelled of the Rockley team and somewhat of an adrenaline junkie! She has cycled the most dangerous road (death road) in the world (Bolivia) and bungee jumped from the third highest drop in the world (New Zealand.) She loves the water and has a passion for diving - having enjoyed close encounters with some of the gentle giants of the sea including manta rays and whale sharks!

Qualifications: Degree in Leisure Management, PGCE in Primary, Dive Master, Power boat level 2, Competent Crew

At Rockley since: April 2016

Sara Holt - description image
Ross Neville-Jones - description image

Ross Neville-Jones

Sales Advisor

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Ross started with Rockley in 2021 but was no stranger to the company! He has been on many courses with Rockley as a youngster, where he discovered his love of sailing and has since competed in many dinghy and yachting events all over the UK. His greatest passion however,  are classic cars - having bought and restored many over the years.

The mantra he lives by - 'buy the ticket, take the ride.' (Hunter S Thompson)

At Rockley since: July 2021

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Courteny Dalton - description image

Courteny Dalton

Sales Advisor

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A former Rockley College student, Courteny has a real passion for all things watersports and adventure. Her absolute favourite thing is going on long walks and hikes. Her biggest achievement has been the 10-hour climb up Mount Buffalo in Australia - the most challenging hike she has done to date!

As a real ski enthusiast, Courteny has been given the enviable task of being our 'ski expert' where she will be leading the sales of our brand new ski product. 

At Rockley since: July 2021

Courteny Dalton - description image
Katie Pearce - description image

Katie Pearce

Centre Administrator

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Before Rockley Katie was travelling around Australia and Southeast Asia. Having worked for a watersports company in Bondi, and being forced to cut her travels short due to Covid, she discovered working by the beach at Rockley Point was the next best thing! Katie looks after all the College administration and acts as a real confidant to the students.

The super power she would want to possess if she could - To breath under water!

At Rockley since: June 2021

Katie Pearce - description image
Andy Smith - description image

Andy Smith

Centre Principal

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This man has often been described as a 'Legend' or an 'Entertainer.' Affectionately known as 'Straw' but insists on being called Lord Admiral Straw, he has been with Rockley from the very start! 

He plays a key role - overseeing everything that goes on at Rockley Point, which means he is at the heart of everything that Rockley does.

Qualifications: RYA Dinghy Scheme Trainer; RYA Powerboat Trainer; 

At Rockley since: 1979

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Fiona Allen - description image

Fiona Allen

Rockley Point Centre Manager

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Fiona joined the Rockley Team  as an RYA Instructor whilst studying for degree in Outdoor Adventure Management at Southampton Solent university. She loved the place and the team so much that she decided, after gaining further management experience abroad, to come back  full-time!

Fiona first learnt to sail a Topper with her Grandparents when she was nine, and has loved being on the water ever since. She has worked both summers and winters in some amazing places including Greece, Turkey, Sardinia, Italy, France and Australia.

Qualifications: RYA Dinghy Scheme Trainer

At Rockley since: October 2021

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Alex Wright - description image

Alex Wright

Poole Park Centre Manager

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Alex came through Rockley College and started his his first season in 2017. With his passion for all things watersports it makes him a perfect fit for his job as Centre Manager at Rockley's Poole Park Lake centre. Alex has successfully worked his way up through the business - from a college student to now leading a team of instructors and running his own centre.

Alex has also worked at AFC Bournemouth!

At Rockley since: 2017

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Andy Lacey - description image

Andy Lacey

Centre Manager for Buddens Activity Centre

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Andy has been involved in the outdoors industry for the past 15 years, working for a variety of organisations, local authorities, charities and commercial operations. Outdoor education trips and being a scout enabled him to experience new activities and travel the world and he is now extremely passionate about giving similar experiences to other young people.

He is a keen sportsman and loves playing, coaching and watching rugby at every opportunity!

Qualifications: RYA Senior Dinghy Instructor, RYA Powerboat Instructor, BC Paddlesports Instructor, MLTE Single Pitch Award, ERCA Instructor and Generic Rescuer

At Rockley since: March 2021

Andy Lacey - description image
James Wright - description image

James Wright

Buddens Activity Centre Activities Manager

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James started with Rockley in 2022 as our first Activities Manager at Buddens Activity Centre. He works closely with Andy and Jo to ensure all the activities are running how we want them to and oversees the safety of everything. He also works hard to further develop the team, ensuring they are given the opportunity to gain further outdoor skills.

We think he does a great job! Always smiling and more often than not with a clipboard in hand, he is a super addition to our company!

At Rockley since: April 2022

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Neil Fleming - description image

Neil Fleming

Activity and Programme Manager - Rockley Point

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Neil joined Rockley on a freelance basis in the Autumn of 2021. Working as an integral part of the Rockley Point team and through his experience, guiding instructors along the way, quickly became a shining star. In June 2023, Neil accepted a full time position with Rockley as our Activity and Programme Manager at Rockley Point. 

Always the life and soul of the centre and whether he is out on his bike, the water or with friends, you are sure the have a good time with Neil. 

At Rockley since: June 2023

Neil Fleming - description image
Mark Ames - description image

Mark Ames

Education Programme Lead

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Mark has over 15 years experience of teaching from middle school, secondary, college and degree level. As a fully fledged sports enthusiast he has an interest in almost all sports and in his younger days would always be seen on the football or cricket pitch. Unfortunately age has taken his toll and these days you are more likely to see him on the golf course! What started as a leisure activity, is now a borderline addiction! 

Qualifications: PE Teacher, various levels of NGB coaching in cricket, golf, football, dodgeball, athletics, disability football

At Rockley since: August 2018

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John McMaster - description image

John McMaster

Education Teacher

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John started as an instructor at Rockley spending all of his time on the water. Now he spends much of his time teaching in the classroom on our college courses. He may just get out on the water from time to time...

A keen sportsman, John loves running, cycling and windsurfing. 

Qualifications: RYA Dinghy Scheme Trainer; RYA Powerboat Instructor; RYA Windsurf Instructor; RYA Yachtmaster

At Rockley since: March 2010

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Steph Colwill - description image

Steph Colwill

Education Teacher

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Steph studied Adventure Education at Chichester University, during which time she completed a year in the industry working as a sailing and windsurfing Instructor in New Zealand. She trained as a PE teacher in Cornwall, then taught at a secondary school while also leading their Outdoor Education, assessing for their Duke of Edinburgh. Steph has  worked in the outdoor industry for 13 years.

Coming from a family of farmers, she has grown up in the outdoors and loves all sport and the freedom that it gives people. She believes everyone should have a chance to explore the world! 

Qualifications: PE Teacher, Mountain Leader

At Rockley since: September 2022

Steph Colwill - description image
Amelia Clarke - description image

Amelia Clarke

Apprentice Learning & Skills Teacher

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Amelia was one of our stand out students when she joined our Level 3 Sport (Outdoor Adventure) course in 2018. A former student at Queen Elizabeth School, Amelia then went on to study Physical Education and Sports Coaching at the University of Chichester. Now in her final year and as part of her course, Amelia is back with the Rockley family, taking on the role of Apprentice Learning & Skills Teacher Sport & Outdoor Adventure Level 5. 

She is hugely enthusiastic and has a great rapport with our current college students.

“I initially chose Rockley College way back in 2018 because I wanted to combine my passion for the outdoors with a full-time education and development programme whilst gaining qualifications. It's so great to be back!"

Qualifications: RYA Dinghy Instructor, RYA Windsurf Instructor

At Rockley since: July 2018

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Matthew Higginbotham - description image

Matthew Higginbotham

Education Practical Lead

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After working in North Wales for a year, it was time for Matt to move onto another challenge. He joined the team in March 2017, taking on an Activity Instructor role and the rest as they say, is history! He is now the Education Practical Lead.

As well as being active on the water, Matt has always loved being in the water! He has spent many years scuba diving which has taken him to so many amazing places. His absolute passion however, is windsurfing. You will often find him blasting out on the water during his lunch break, after work and on the weekends with his fellow colleagues.

At Rockley since: 2017

Matthew Higginbotham - description image
Pete Smith - description image

Pete Smith

Education Practical Tutor

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After a year working at plas Menai, Pete joined the Rockley crew in March 2017 and has been here ever since! He's worked at many of Rockley's centres teaching a variety of courses and is now a Practical Tutor for Rockley College.

He LOVES, LOVES, LOVES windsurfing, especially freestyle and he will be out on the water at every opportunity, whatever the weather! 

At Rockley since: March 2017

Pete Smith - description image
Jo Tegg - description image

Jo Tegg

Guest Experience Manager - Buddens Activity Centre

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Jo joined Rockley's Level 3 college course in 2017 and has been here ever since! Fast forward a few years: she graduated, completed a season in France, joined the apprenticeship programme and is now working as our Customer Service Manager at Buddens Activity Centre.

No stranger to the water, Jo used to swim competitively for 10 years which is where her passion for the water and the outdoors comes from! She has also discovered a new passion for hiking and exploring, visiting places such as Snowdonia and more recently climbing Crib Goch, which she admits she would never have done a few years ago!

At Rockley since: May 2017

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Theo Talbot - description image

Theo Talbot

Lead Instructor at Buddens Activity Centre

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At 22, Theo decided to leave Exeter University where he was studying Accountancy and Finance to pursue his love of sport and the outdoors. When he chose to join Rockley's Apprenticeship programme, their loss was certainly our gain! Described by others as being hugely 'supportive', Theo plans to stay in the industry for five years before pursuing his ultimate dream vocation as a teacher.

His love and enthusiasm for the outdoors and teaching is infectious which makes him an integral part of the Buddens team!

At Rockley since:
August 2021

Theo Talbot - description image
Adam Moss - description image

Adam Moss

Lead Instructor at Buddens Activity Centre

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Adam is a graduate of Rockley's Level 3 Extended Diploma in Sport (Outdoor Adventure) course as well as the apprenticeship programme. Having never done any watersports prior to joining Rockley College, he now proclaims himself to be hooked on it with a particular love for catamaran sailing and windsurfing.

Describing himself as 'goofy', he hopes to use his qualifications to travel and work anywhere in the world.

At Rockley since: March 2022

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Darren Jones - description image

Darren Jones

Maintenance Manager

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Nothing is ever too much for Darren and he will endeavour to sort out a problem as quickly as possible to ensure the centres run smoothly - whether that be electrical, plumbing or general maintenance.  He's always smiling and will always be happy to stop for a chat!

#bemoredarren

At Rockley since: July 2021

Darren Jones - description image

Our History

Rockley was founded in 1976 as a family business teaching dinghy sailing.
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