Dr Loel Collins

Director of Learning and Development


Loel is an accomplished adventure sports practitioner. He has explored throughout the globe and has pioneered remote river exploration by kayak and canoe for over thirty years. His own kayaking expeditions and guiding experiences include Nepal, Iran, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Costa Rica, Zimbabwe and Zambia. In addition, he has guided and taught extensively throughout Europe, the United States and Canada by canoe.

Loel has worked in the outdoor sector for over thirty-five years and has worked in a wide range of organisations, Local Education Authority, private outdoor education centres, privately run charity outdoor centres, sports councils, national centres, the National Governing Bodies and in Higher education. He is a prolific author and lifelong believer in outdoor education in all its forms.


  • Professional Doctorate in Elite Performance

  • British Canoeing Level Five Coach (Whitewater Kayak, Canoe, Surf Kayak, Sea Kayak)

  • Mountaineering and Climbing Instructor

  • Wilderness and Remote Area First Responder

  • Swiftwater Rescue Instructor

  • Pre-hospital Trauma and Life Support (PHTLS)

  • Advanced First Aid Trainer

  • Tele-mark Ski Instructor


My adventure highlights are mainly involved with exploring rivers throughout the globe. The fondest memories are always of working within small close-knit teams in challenging situations. These have included exploratory descents in some of the deepest gorges in the world and more recently in Northern Canada.

I am passionate about adventure and discovering new things. I have tended to do this in very practical ways ever since I was small. To such an extent that one of my biggest adventurer achievements has to be making it to 50! More recently I realised that all my practical skills need some support so I started a Doctorate which turned out to be straight forwards because there hadn’t been much researched into professional practice in the Adventure sector. My position as Director of Learning and Development allows me to take ten years of research back into the real world.



To help support the growing outdoor sector through Plas y Brenin’s work, to develop future leaders, coaches and instructors and shape our sector for the benefit of everyone.

To keep on having adventures in wild places.

To perfect the telemark turn on skis. (not in a kayak!)