Meet the Team: Amanda Buggy
Let me tell you about the beautiful Amanda, if you haven't met her she is a kind and compassionate strong women taking every opportunity to connect with others. Amanda's positivity rubs off on everyone that is lucky enough to be coached, mentored or enlightened by her shining light. She is always proud of everything you've done and so genuine, she has so many skills! She is incredibly insightful, caring and a risk-taker! She is an amazing role model and she makes everyone smile!
As one of the captains of The OTC ship she is steering us as a team into clear, calm water and we are sailing more efficiently now she is on board! Amanda has found her own self-confidence as a working mum, wife and has navigated to that place where she has balance and is able to love herself. As she spins all the plates, she does it with flexibility, and she is always gentle in her dealings with others. Hugely comfortable in her own skin, she accepts and is content with who she is. Such a refreshing addition and her knowledge is immeasurable. A huge welcome to the team!
By Emma Nicholson.
What did you do before you came to be part of Team OTC? What is your job role at The OTC?
Amanda said: "I was the RYA Chief Instructor for the National Sailing, Windsurfing and Wing Schemes until October 2022, when I left to concentrate on my own business. I set up my Soft Tissue Therapy and Nutrition business back in January 2022, and having left the RYA I run this full time along side watersports consultancy.
"My role at OTC, concentrates on working with the team to enhance the retail website side of the business, SurfDoctor."
"I felt totally lost and that I’d let everyone down. It took me a while to pick myself back up."
Can you talk me through your career, from the beginning, right up to today?
Amanda said: "Wow - I think I’m too old, it will take too long! At school I always wanted to be an architect, but due to some terrible advice I took the wrong subjects. Once at University, I realised Uni life wasn’t for me, after a year long struggle I hit a really low point and decided to leave.
"Leaving left me not knowing what I was going to do, I felt totally lost and that I’d let everyone down. It took me a while to pick myself back up, and it was when I came across an advert that I found a glimpse of hope. It was a centre called ‘Outdoor Adventure’, a Watersports Training centre in Bude, Cornwall, who ran a 16 week intense instructor programme.
"I didn’t windsurf or sail at the time, but from a young age I was a competitive swimmer, and loved being in and around the water, as a family we used to go on holiday to Polzeath, so this really caught my eye.
"For me this was the light at the end of the tunnel, a bit of a savour. The course was tough, but I loved being in the outdoors, being with likeminded people, and learning the skills needed to become an instructor.
"I continued to work for 'Outdoor' for another year having gained my qualifications, and then looked for other locations to work, I really fancied the idea of going overseas. The industry really can take you anywhere, and over the following years I had the most amazing time working in countries like Minorca, Australia and the Isle of Wight.
"To progress my own windsurfing skills, in-between the teaching season, I used to travel to Maui, Hawaii and Perth, Australia, with my now husband, Tom Buggy. During these trips my passion and enjoyment for windsurfing just grew and grew.
"One thing leaving University did was give me a drive to push myself and do the very best I could. I progressed my training from being an instructor, and become appointed as an RYA Windsurfing Trainer, running Instructor Training Course for UKSA Australia.
"It was whilst I was in Australia that the RYA approached me about taking on the role at RYA Chief Instructor for the Windsurfing Scheme. I worked for the RYA for 17.5 years, taking on the National Sailing Scheme having been there for seven years, after a colleague moving on.
"I’m someone who constantly likes to learn, but also finds learning relaxing and a form of escapism - so in my down time I trained as a Nutritional Advisor and later Soft Tissue Therapist - and that brings us to where we are today. I decided to leave the RYA back in February 2022, to find a way to spend more time with my boys and set up my own business."
What is one of your best memories, professionally or watersports related?
Amanda said: "It has to be my first forward loop - My husband and I were in Maui and it was so windy. He’d been encouraging me for a few ages, so one day I just thought I’d go for it - loved it!"
"I’m someone who constantly likes to learn, but also finds learning relaxing and a form of escapism."
What watersports do you enjoy the most?
Amanda said: "It’s got to be the feeling, it makes me smile from inside out - maybe even the occasional ‘yyyeeeeeeehhhhhaaaaaa’"
What do you think the benefits are to people’s mental health by taking part in watersports activities?
Amanda said: "I find this really hard to explain, it brings people so many different things, from a feeling of total relaxation and leaving all the stresses behind, to enabling people to restore, slow down and put things in perspective. Sports like windsurfing, tend to being excitement, happiness, exhilaration and an adrenaline rush."
As a working mum, how do you find the time to take part in exercise, be that watersports or on land?
Amanda said: "I have to, in fact I think I’d be divorced if I didn’t! Doing some form of exercise, whether its windsurfing, running, cycling, swimming or walking, is a big part of who I am - I find it relaxing and it’s how I put everything in perspective.
"When I realised just how important it was for me, I started to plan the time into my day, and god help anyone who gets in the way of it ‘hahaha’
"I’m also lucky that my two boys and husband are the same, it’s like WW3 in our house if we are all inside too long!"
What is your favourite spot to windsurf or wing?
Amanda said: "I’m really lucky to live on the Isle of Wight, so we are surrounded by water, with so many nice spots to choose. With Gurnard on our doorstep, a summer session has to be high up there. Otherwise I’d say Brook (also Isle of Wight) or El Medano, Tenerife ,where we try and escape as a family every year.
"I’ve been so lucky, and managed to sail in some lovely spots around the world, Sprecks in Maui, or Coronations, Western Australia, are places I’d love to revisit."
"Be kind to yourself, give yourself time to take a break, breath and let your mind reset."
Do you prefer winging to windsurfing?
Amanda said: "Windsurfing, I’m a die hard windsurfer, I think I always will be - I don’t get as much time on the water as I’d like to, so when I do I prefer to windsurf."
The RYA, what was your role with the RYA? Do you still have an affiliation with them?
Amanda said: "I was the RYA Chief Instructor for the National Sailing, Windsurfing and Wing Schemes for 17.5 year. It was a big role which managed and oversaw the recognition of the training centres, RYA Trainers, Inspectors and Instructors, as well as their training. I also was responsible for ensuing the scheme and syllabus and associated publications where up to date and current, inline with the sports and participants needs. I also work closely with external bodies, government departments and representative groups, such as sports and education bodies."
"Tris Best is a true inspiration, with remarkable drive."
What is your biggest achievement either professionally or personally?
Amanda said: "So so many, but one of the main is being the RYA Chief Instructor. It was a role I was truly humbled to be given the opportunity to do, it was amazing and I never took it for granted.
"During my role I had so many highlights, two distinct ones would be setting up RYA Training in China, and the second would be integrating foiling into the RYA Windsurfing and Dinghy Scheme, and later, the RYA Wing scheme."
Why do you think The OTC is so successful, as a brand and a place of business?
Amanda said: "Tris Best is a true inspiration, with remarkable drive. I’ve watched OTC from the initial start in Weymouth to what it is today, and it’s down to his determination and focus that we are all drawn to be part of this. Everyone who works at The OTC has a passion for watersports and this spreads to all that head down to the centre - An automatic sense of belonging and enjoyment."
"I love a challenge, solving problems and need to be busy."
You have many hats! You spin many plates! What are all your job roles? How do you manage all your different roles?
Amanda said: "Firstly, a full time mum, servant and cleaner to the Buggy household!!
"Working wise - having left the RYA in October 2022, I’m now run my own business, which has become quite diverse!! My main area is Soft Tissue Therapy and Nutrition, with occasional watersports consultancy. A new aspect has been the amazing opportunity to work for Tris and the team, with Surf Doctor.
"My mind never seems to stop - I love a challenge, solving problems and need to be busy. Don’t get me wrong, there are several plates which take a wobble, but I really enjoy the variety the different areas of my work bring."
Who inspires you?
Amanda said: "That is so tricky, there are so many people, but also experiences that have inspired me.
"I can’t think of one individual, over my career, and even on a daily basis, I come in contact with people who inspire me in a different ways - It’s often the smallest things that make the biggest difference, teach us the most and make us consider, or take a new perspective on things.
"It’s a cliche, but my parents are a huge inspiration to me - I look back with awe of how much they did for my brother and I, that gives me the drive to do the same for my boys, but also my business.
"In a different way, my two boys inspire me - They have an amazing love for life, happiness and simplicity. Kids have a remarkable way of taking everything back to basics - as adults we can all learn so much from this."
"Love, health and happiness means the most to me."
What is the biggest lesson you have learnt throughout your career, so far?
Amanda said: "Be kind to yourself, give yourself time to take a break, breath and let your mind reset - especially when you feel overwhelmed.
"I spent too long ‘just getting on with it’, and taking the huge step to leave the RYA to spend more time with my family and set up my business has enable me to realign everything."
Do you take part in watersports as a family?
Amanda said: "Tom and I are really lucky that both our boys love being outside, whether its land or water.
"We don’t push a specific type of sports or watersports on either of them, we just teach them enjoy to the water, never take advantage of it and be safe. Being so close to the beach is amazing and we tend to spend a lot of time walking by it, or being in it!
"I can see our eldest taking up winging soon, and he’s obsessed with foiling (hard not to with a dad like Tom!), but at the moment he’s really into motobike trials, and the youngest is an ‘observer’ who suddenly bursts out and amazes us!!
"We are keen to just provide our kids with as many opportunities and experiences we can, so they can pursue the hobbies and sports they enjoy."
What advice would you give someone who wants to make that leap and go freelance or start up their own business?
Amanda said: "I don’t think I’m placed to give advice yet - but from my experience so far, ‘Go for it’ - your worries don’t go away, but the feeling you get it fantastic. You are grateful for every client and penny you earn. I’ve found life more satisfying - but as I say, it’s still early days for me, so you might need to check in with me again in a years time!!"
What does it mean becoming part of the OTC Team?
Amanda said: "AMAZING!! I love the team - so many great people, full of enthusiasm and ‘let’s just give it a go’. It’s why the industry is such a great place to work. It’s still early days and lots for me to learn."
"My parents were great role models and brought me up with an overwhelming desire to do my very best."
What is your biggest motivator?
Amanda said: "Mine and families love, health and happiness means the most to me - My parents were great role models, and brought me up with an overwhelming desire to do my very best, and try as hard as I can.
"My business enables me to help others, whether it’s through Soft Tissue Therapy or Nutrition - but the feeling of being a small part that improves someones life is fantastic."
The future what does that hold for you?
Amanda said: "It’s very much day by day for me at the moment - watching my business grown, develop and understanding more every day.
"I not sure what the future holds, but I made the changes I did for health, happiness and to spend more times with my boys. So at the moment that looks like school runs, muddy trials events, forest mountain bike rides and swimming pools - mixed in with amazing opportunities to work with amazing people!"