About Matt

I’m Matt Giblin, the other half of Kayak Essentials!



I have been working in the outdoors now for almost 20 years, in a wide variety of coaching environments. Early experiences as an activity instructor at an outdoor education centre in Yorkshire led to employment as a chief instructor at a multi-activity centre in Shropshire.

In 2003 I completed a BSc (Hons) degree In Outdoor and Environmental Education at Liverpool John Moores University. Post-graduation, I gained a passion for coaching skill development and instructor training, with involvement in delivering British Canoeing Coach Education courses.

A move to North Wales gave me the opportunity to further this experience, to develop my own paddling skills and to work in challenging settings with diverse groups of clients and students. During this time, I provided BC Coach Education courses and Coach Update weekends for Canoe Wales & Canoe England.

In 2008 I completed a PGCE in Physical Education which led to employment as a PE teacher at a sports college in Manchester. I spent 6 years as a faculty lead for Education, Access and Creative Industries and the course leader of the Outdoor Adventure Studies Foundation Degree and BA Top Up in Outdoor Leadership at Hugh Baird University Centre in Liverpool. From 2019 I am full-time Kayak Essentials and looking forward to exciting time ahead.

I’ve paddled throughout the UK and Europe and as a British Canoeing level 4 Inland coach, Level 3 Sea kayak coach, 4 Star canoe leader and a provider of multiple British Canoeing coach education, leadership and personal performance awards, I love working with new and experienced paddlers alike. My current University roles allows for greater integration of both the practical and underpinning theoretical aspects of the coaching process.


Film Making

Since 2008 I’ve have been filming and producing our instructional DVDs and have discovered a new passion for all aspects of the process. I hope that future opportunities will see me do more of this work and other related activities. We recently won two awards, one for best instructional film (Sea Kayak Essentials Vol 2) at the 2017 Reel Paddling Film Festival and one from the SeeMôr Film Festival for On Celtic Tides, a story about Nick Cunliffe and John Jacksons epic round Anglesey swim.

Currently I am studying for an MA in Sports Coaching, and have developed an interest in a wide range of research topics linked to coaching and the outdoors. These include the use and validity of observing peers, developing communities of practice and the mechanisms used by coaches and educators when developing decision making skills in their students. My Masters dissertation is focuses on situational awareness of sea kayak guides and how the situational demands impact on this. Long term I am aiming to complete a Professional Doctorate in Elite Performance.


matt swelliesk Cunliffe Nick Cunliffe Nick Cunliffe Nick Cunliffe Nick Cunliffe Nick Cunliffe Nick Cunliffe Nick Cunliffe Nick Cunliffe Nick Outdoor Qualifications

Level 4 Inland (WW) Coach

Level 3 Sea kayak Coach

Moderate water canoe coach


British Canoeing Providorships

FSRT Provider

Personal performance award provider (across disciplines)

Paddlesport leader provider

Paddlesport instructor provider

Coach award core (second staff) , Tutor/assessor  Sheltered water canoe and kayak and Tutor assessor Sea kayak coach.

Academic qualifications

BSc (Hons) Outdoor and Environmental Education

PGCE Physical Education – With QTS

MA Sports Coaching – Sept 2019