Chief Instructor

info Issues viewing the video?

Lexine McAuley

0.00.00 My name’s Lexine McAuley. I’m 23 years old. I work at PGL Caythorpe Court in Grantham. I’m the Chief Instructor there and I have been since 2007. I assist in the running of the activities department alongside three Assistant Chief Instructors and an Activities Manager. We’re responsible for the delivery of the activity product within our centre. I didn’t enjoy school that much.

0.00.30 I left school when I was 16 because of that as well. I was really looking for something else. I stumbled into the working environment in hospitality, so I worked in a big hotel and did some waitressing there for a while. And did an NVQ in waitressing. But then when I turned 18 I realised that wasn’t really the path that I wanted to follow. Quite a big turning point in my life was I’d just finished a really busy shift in the hotel, I think it was about half eleven at night and everybody was so exhausted

0.01.00 and there were some of the managers there as well and they all had young families but they were there so late at night and they were thoroughly exhausted and I thought that’s not really the, what I want out of my future to be having to work at all hours for little reward and that’s when I decided I needed to find something else. I wanted to get out and I wanted to go somewhere else and I was looking at all these different opportunities and you know, flicking through the adverts in the paper, thinking about going abroad

0.01.30 with maybe doing the a Camp America type thing, oh there were so many options and I started applying for all these different jobs online and I was chatting to a friend of the family about it and that’s when they mentioned PGL. That was something they’d done when they were younger and they thought that it’d be right for me. They thought that really fitted the criteria of what I was looking for. The first day I arrived it was on a massive training course, so there were loads of people there and then we got accommodated in tents and so

0.02.00 I had a tent mate and somebody who was in the same position as me, they’d just turned 18, they were very excited. Neither of us really knew what to expect. It was a five day training course the one that I did and it’s to be a PGL Group Leader and so the next five days were spent doing our first aid qualification, learning how to be loud and singing lots of songs and doing different classroom sessions. My biggest memory has probably been really exhausted but really excited as well. The day was so packed,

0.02.30 we were constantly doing stuff and then in the evening as well there were so many new people to socialise with and to get to know. By the end of the five days we felt like we’d known each other for years, never mind just five days. In my own leisure time I still take part in a lot of the activities that I do here so I’ll always make an effort to go out and practice my own skills so I’ll do some canoeing, some climbing, walking whenever we can, and a lot of socialising as well.

0.03.00 Everybody who works here lives on site so you’ve got all of your friends around you and all of your work colleagues around you who are always up for a day out in town or a trip to the cinema. I had a moment of realisation when I was working in the South of France on the Ardeche River, everyday we’d take groups of kids out on river trips and the most amazing scenery and the best weather that I’ve ever experienced and it got to a point just after lunch

0.03.30 everybody was heading out down the river, it was just our group, there was nobody else around for miles. Big cliff faces up either side and you could just hear all of the wildlife and I remember just thinking somebody’s paying me to do this. I couldn’t believe it, yeah. In five years time I hope to still be as happy as I am now and still getting a lot out of life and learning from my job.


Lexine McAuley is the Chief Instructor at Caythorpe Park, a PGL activity centre. Her first job was in a hotel. After a particularly grueling day she realised she didn’t want her future to consist of “working all hours for little reward”. So she applied to do a training course to become a PGL instructor. Sometimes she’s amazed that she gets paid for doing what she enjoys so much.

More information about Sports coaches, instructors and officials

average salary

The UK average salary is £29,813

average weekly hours

There are 37.5 hours in the average working week

61%  male 
39%  female 

The UK workforce is 47% female and 53% male

Future employment

Future employment?

? Sports coaches, instructors and officials work with amateur and professional sportsmen and women to enhance performance, encourage greater participation in sport, supervise recreational activities such as canoeing and mountaineering, and organise and officiate at sporting events according to established rules.
There are no formal academic requirements although individuals must have experience in their sport and the relevant coaching and refereeing qualifications. Applicants to coaching courses must normally be over 18 years old and hold a first-aid certificate. Some courses encompass coaching awards within broader programmes of study. NVQs/SVQs in coaching are available in the context of certain sports. Background checks including a CRB check are required for those working with children.
  • Coaches teams or individuals by demonstrating techniques and directing training and exercise sessions;
  • Controls team selection and discipline and recruits ancillary staff such as coaches or physiotherapists;
  • Monitors and analyses technique and performance, and determines how future improvements can be made;
  • Deals with administrative aspects such as arranging matches, contests or appearances for athlete or team, and organising required transport and accommodation;
  • Provides information and develops facilities to encourage greater participation in sport, and to enhance the standards of participants;
  • Understands health and safety aspects of various activities and ensures any statutory requirements are met;
  • Inspects and maintains specialised clothing and equipment;
  • Manages the playing areas and competitors, starts race, competition or match and controls its progress according to established rules.
Employment by region
Top 10 industries for this job
Sport & recreation 46301
Education 31189
Employment activities 5162
Gambling 4653
Other personal service 4395
Public admin. & defence 2914
Services to buildings 2776
Security, etc 2155
Health 1125
Food & beverage services 1089
Employment status

From personal careers advice to finding work, see our round-up of
useful websites to help you on your way

Explore more videos by: