Meet the Team: Mia Adcock
Mia has found her happy place by courageously stepping into the unknown and finding
where she was meant to be and luckily for us that is at The OTC!
Mia started windsurfing at four years old in Poole Harbour, she spent hours practicing. We welcomed Mia to the team in 2022. She has been working in watersports for eight years, previously working in Poole Harbour as a windsurfing instructor, offering higher level 1:1 tuition, including coaching young people.
Mia is an enthusiastic, patient and kind soul, whose free sprit is intuitively linked to the ocean. In her spare time Mia enjoys windsurfing, paddle boarding and winging; she loves how free it makes her feel when she is on the water and she loves to see peoples’ progression, and excitement when they learn something new.
Mia has been instrumental in encouraging females into the sport and is a pioneer when it comes to passing on her own passion and love for being on the water. Empowering other females and giving them the confidence to believe in themselves.
By Emma Nicholson.
I started off asking Mia when did she start working at The OTC and what is her background? She said: "I started working at The OTC in May last year and have loved every minute. I honestly believe (without it being too cheesy) that I have the best job in the world.
"My background; I have aways been a windsurfer. I learnt when I was four years old with my dad in Poole Harbour, he would hold the top of the mast and walk along the harbour wall with me on a 0.8M Sail (which is basically the size of a big napkin). Windsurfing has always been in my family, my grandad, nana, mum, dad, sister, my uncle and some of my cousins also got the windsurf bug and most never lost it."
"I am so passionate about planet earth and our natural environment and I find being on the water and in the sea so healing."
"When I left school I did a degree in Geography at Bournemouth University, I finished my degree with an amicable 2:1 in 2021, but soon after my graduation I could not decide for the life of me what I wanted to do career wise. I spent probably days trying to figure out what career path I wanted, where I could see myself working, what sector I would work in. I had a few menial jobs in the interim, I thought of them as stepping stones across a the big river of adult life, as I knew they weren’t something I would do forever."
"Last year I really do believe that I found where I am supposed to be."
"But last year I really do believe that I found where I am supposed to be. This time not onto another stepping stone. I got into the water. I genuinely believe that teaching watersports at The OTC is where I’m supposed to be. I get to teach something that I love to others and pass on my knowledge and passion. That in itself is a gift in my eyes.
I am so passionate about planet earth and our natural environment and I find being on the water and in the sea so healing."
"It is truly magic that I get to be on the water in the sea everyday."
What is your job role at The OTC? Why did you decide to come and work at The OTC?
Mia said: "My job role at The OTC is made up of lots of different roles, by definition I am a Senior Instructor, I have just gained my qualification before the new year. I decided to come and work at The OTC because I love teaching windsurfing, I love the vibe of The OTC, the people that work there and the benefits it brings me."
What do you like the most about working at The OTC?
Mia said:"One of the things I like most about working at The OTC is getting to see people progress and build their confidence on the water in these amazing sports. I also think that’s it is truly magic that I get to be on the water in the sea everyday- teaching something I am so passionate about."
What watersports do you like doing in your spare time?
Mia said: "It’s a bit of a mix of what watersport I like to do in my spare time and really depends on the conditions! If it’s super super windy I will go windsurfing on really small kit and hang on. The adrenaline you get from that is crazy. But if there is no wind at all I might go for a quick spin on my paddle board to get myself out on the water.
Though, in most conditions I will go winging, I really fell in love with it last year, it’s honestly so fun! I have just recently got myself a set up to get myself on the national race circuit which I am looking forward to."
Describe your typical working day?
Mia said: "In the summer and winter these days look quite different. In the spring/summer I arrive at the centre and get a few things ready for my sessions. I like to plan what I’m doing the night before so I have an idea of how the session is going to go, although on the water, you sometimes need a plan a, b and c as there are so many variables on the day such as wind conditions etc… if the wind is good, the instructors take it in turns and try to hop out on the water for a quick spin on the water at lunch between sessions. I think that this is really nice as it’s keeps the passion there. In the summer we finish at around 5:30 or 7:30 depending on the day and then after this the instructor are likely to head out on the water at the end of the day in a group. It’s such a great vibe when we all get out on the water."
"We are going to ‘feel the fear and do it anyway’ and that’s what makes us strong."
What are some of your best memories of your time working at The OTC, so far?
"Goodness me! I have so many fun and inspiring memories from working at the centre so far.. okay here are a few…
"I think one of the best and most inspiring memories working at The OTC so far has got to be on a ‘Windsurf For A Fiver’ lessons where a young boy was completely terrified of going out on the water at the start of the session, he was visibly shaking. We talked through why he was so scared and what might happen when he went on the board (which we decided wasn’t going to be that scary). I said to him, that we are going to ‘feel the fear and do it anyway’ and that’s what makes us strong so he did it and I stayed next to him up to my shoulders in the water holding onto the board so he could see I was there and he went windsurfing, he got on the board, he picked the sail up and held onto the boom and went out and turned himself around. He had the biggest grin on his face.
"Another fantastic memory from last year was when I was teaching another school group and Emma Wilson started rigging her sail up just around the corner from where our session was. I have known Em for over 10 years now as we went to school together in Bournemouth and went over to say hey and wondered if she would introduce herself to the children. They were all in absolute amazement that they had met an Olympic Medalist in Windsurfing. For them it was like meeting a real life superhero. This must have been unbelievably inspiring that they met the Female who not only competed in Olympic Windsurfing, got a medal at the games and is putting her sail together right next to their session."
You were the founding member of the ladies winging club, why did you decide to start a ladies winging club?
Mia said: "Yes! And it’s starting up in March on Sunday mornings so if you’re a women and you like winging and you’re reading this… this is your sign!…
Well, after a conversation with Emma (a different one) who works at the OTC - we chatted and discussed how it could be really good for there to be a women’s club. It’s a bit of fun, we’re there to improve our winging in a relaxed environment with other like minded females. It’s also quite empowering to be on the water with other women from varied walks of life, all sharing a common goal. Also thanks to the we do sometimes have such a laugh which is a massive bonus!"
"For me being on the water can be super mindful. It’s a place to relax and be free with only yourself, your kit, the wind and sea."
You are a champion of getting young people to become inspired by windsurfing, why do you think it is important to get young people into the sport?
Mia said: "Getting young people passionate about being outdoors and in the elements is so important. For me being on the water can be super mindful. It’s a place to relax and be free with only yourself, your kit, the wind and sea. Windsurfing is an amazing sport, with so many opportunities in different directions and if I can share my passion with the next generation hopefully they can be inspired by it too."
Who inspires you?
Mia said: "So many people! I am lucky to be surrounded by people who are really inspiring. My family and friends inspire me. But someone who inspires me every day is my boyfriend Rob. He is so passionate about his work with the Windsurfing Magazine and his coaching for the British Sailing Team Mens IQ Foil. He inspires me to be the best version of me I that I can be."
"If I can share my passion with the next generation hopefully they can be inspired by it too."
What does your future hold? What are your ambitions?
Mia said: "Ooh that’s a good question! Career wise in the windsurfing industry I would like to become a trainer- that is the goal! Just this month I have run my first training session for the local groms at the centre who are planning on becoming assistant instructors which has been really exciting, they were all super keen and wanting to learn which was amazing and I really enjoyed doing it and I can’t wait to do more!
'On a personal level I am going to race on the national wing circuit this year, which I am soo excited about! And when I am ready, whether that is this year or next year, I want to go to an international competition and compete against women from across the world. It’s been just shy of 10 years since I competed internationally. So exciting things to look forward to!"