Meet the OTC Team: Bryony Webb
Here at The Official Test Centre we are so lucky that the bundle of energy that is our Centre Manager Bryony Webb is at the helm of our watersports centre based within the Weymouth & Portland National Sailing Academy. Bryony exudes positivity and along with her adorable dog, 'Mali', her enthusiasm makes everyones experience at the centre a memorable time, nothing is too much trouble. Bryony has the biggest heart and is moved and motivated by the youngsters who have life-changing connections with the water. Bry's smile that greets everyone who comes to The OTC for a watersports session is infectious and we are so lucky to have her!
By Emma Nicholson
When did you start working at The OTC and what is your background?
Bryony said: “ I am back at The OTC after having a break of 18months - two years away working at a couple of other centres and different companies. I worked for Tris first in 2018, I used to work down the centre as a watersports instructor and made my way up to senior instructor and then finally centre manager alongside Joe North for a couple of years, before taking a step back. That time away made me realise the love I had for the centre and for the people down at the centre. As much fun as I had working for other companies and having a bit of a break, I think it sometimes makes you realise what you had when you have a bit of a breather sometimes."
What is your job role at The OTC?
Bryony said: "I am the Centre Manager down at The OTC, so basically day to day making sure everything runs smoothly for customers and for instructors alike."
What do you like the most about working at The OTC?
Bryony said: “Probably the environment and what we are able to provide for people within the local area and further afield. What we can offer for people from stand up paddle boarding or a windsurf session, Fliteboard they always come off the water with a smile on their face, buzzing.”
What is one of your best memories, professionally or water sports related?
Bryony said: “When you see a group of individuals grow it maybe the Team15 youngsters or a group of school children that are doing a six week programme with us. You see them grow as individuals not necessary in the sport alone, come out of their shells, gain more confidence, teamwork skills, communication and just being able to be the lead in that and make sure that those individuals are having the best time when they come down to the centre. I think that is the one of the best memories that I thrive from.”
"The OTC Team as a whole are all inspiring."
What do you think the benefits are to people’s mental health by taking part in watersports?
Bryony said: “It is quite literally a breath of fresh air, what ever stresses you may have in life can be left on the slipway, even for some people getting a wetsuit on and a buoyancy aid on and putting their feet in the water is enough to distract them from other bits that maybe going on. I couldn’t recommend coming down enough even if it is just grabbing a paddle board or having a windsurf taster with us, it will just let you switch off.”
How do you find the time to take part in exercise, be that watersports or on land whilst working?
Bryony said: “For me usually being in the centre a fair amount and dealing with emails, phone calls etc, my break is getting out onto the water with a group of youngsters, that maybe a school group, I get a chance to stick my wetsuit on, get wet, go windsurfing, teach them something, teach them something, they teach me to relax again and have a good time and then I can go back into the centre with a fresh head. Ready to move on with what ever the next thing is.”
"Location, location, location! The full package down at The OTC."
What is your favourite spot to windsurf?
Bryony said: “I would say The OTC, not necessarily just The OTC, but Weymouth and Portland Harbour is home for me. I have windsurfed in a couple of other places, when I have worked abroad in Menorca, but I would say this is very much my home spot for me."
Do you prefer winging or windsurfing?
Bryony said: “So I am very much still a windsurfer, I am yet to crack the winging that is something I need to do this summer for sure, I have a solid team behind me that keep nudging me in the right direction. I think Mia is going to take there lead in that one and grab the bulls by the horns and get me involved in Woman who Wing if I like it or not!”
What is your biggest achievement either professionally or personally?
Bryony said: “I think always having a dream or a goal in my head to run a centre, the big dream is potentially to have your own centre, but slowly working my way from apprenticeship level and then working at centres as an instructor, then senior instructor. Just working hard towards a goal that I have always had in my head and to achieve that with Tris is a massive thing.”
"Being back at The OTC feels like home."
Why do you think The OTC is so successful, as a brand and a place of business?
Bryony said: “I think it has got the complete package , location, environment, not matter what the tide is doing or what the wind is doing we can get you out. The team is second to none, the experience and the qualifications that we have within the team are solid and I think the attitude that everyone has when you are down here. If you are a complete beginner, novice, or have been windsurfing or winging for years. Everyone is on a level. You can come down, you can have a giggle, it is just a nice environment to be in.”
What is a typical day at work for you?
Bryony said: “Day to day, first one in, last one out, catch up on emails, bookings, enquiries, school groups, larger bookings, 1:1 clients, organising rota’s for staff, making sure the staff are happy with which lessons they are going to be teaching, the groups coming in if they have any additional needs, just making the ship runs as tightly as possible.”
Who inspires you?
Bryony said: “The OTC Team as a whole are all inspiring, but for me it is the youngsters that you see come down, for example Clay Yelland, he used to attend our Team 15 when I used to work at the centre and he was very much at his grassroots stage of his windsurfing, similar to a young man called Finn Knight and you watch the come week in, week out, rain, shine, winter, summer they are out there, they are putting in the hours, having fun, just watching them grow is probably the best thing.”
What is the biggest lesson you have learnt throughout your career, so far?
Bryony said: “One thing is know your worth, but also with that it is ok to not back down, if you have dreamt of something or if you want something don’t let the past always effect that. Always take the opportunity and take time, but if what you want is that then don’t shy away from it."
Why is The OTC such a great place for people to learn?
Bryony said: “Location, location, location! The full package down at The OTC, the environment you can do our activities in, with our instructors that will be alongside you, the kit that you will be using, the latest kit it is second to none and the centre is second to none.”
What advice would you give someone who wants to become a watersports instructor?
Bryony said: “Go for it, I very much learnt to a lot of my water based activities to then be able to teach it. I always paddled, swam and went cliff jumping off the island when I was younger, I didn’t do any of the wind based activities until I went to college, so then I learnt those activities so I could teach them. So if you have already got a competent level of windsurfing or winging or sailing, already there, do it, go and grab it. If you don’t go and learn and then it is way easier for you to get on a level with someone who is a beginner, because you are only a beginner two years ago, so you can get on a level with them.”
What does it mean becoming part of the OTC Team?
Bryony said: “It feels like I am home, The Weymouth & Portland National Sailing Academy (WPNSA) is just a wicked environment to work, it is a lovely rubbing shoulders with other centres and working alongside other people that I have grown up with within the industry, since I was 18. But being back at The OTC feels like home."
What is your biggest motivator?
Bryony said: “For me it is very much waking up in the morning and wanting to go to work, but also having the bigger picture of life outside work in my head. I am motivated to enjoy work but motivated to enjoy life outside of work.”
The future what does that hold for you?
Bryony said: “Who knows! We will have to ask Tris, the boss man, there’s lots of exciting things to come for centre this year and hopefully having a lot of buzz and learning to wing!”
Call The Official Test Centre, 07817 717904 and start your watersports adventure with us today!