SCOTTISH SURFING CHAMPION RIDES THE WAVES TO BUSINESS SUCCESS
A former Scottish ladies surfing champion, who gave up a legal career to set up her own surf school earlier this year, has launched her autumn/winter class timetable.
Dee Ripoll, who secured the coveted ladies title in 2011, decided to follow her dream of teaching adults and children to ride the waves after realising her heart wasn’t in the legal career she’d spent seven years studying and training to do.
After tapping into advice from Business Gateway Aberdeen City & Shire, the 27-year-old launched Coldwater Surf School in March;a mobile surf school that teaches surfing from Fraserburgh, Aberdeen and Banff beaches.
Now, after a successful first three months of trading, Dee, who is sponsored by leading surf brand O’Neill, is taking bookings for classes that will run from October until December.
She said: “My heart was never really in law but I wanted to complete my traineeship before makingsuch a big career decision. My family have been very supportive and know I didn’t want to wake up years from now thinking ‘what if’.
“There’s a real demand for surfing lessons in the North East and I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how busy I am; not only teaching from my timetable but also showing corporate, individual and private groups how to surf six days a week.
“With the first few months under my belt I wanted to launch the autumn/winter programme of lessons before I headed off to France where I teach during the summer. Thesea in the North East is like a millpond from July until the end of September, and people are already keen to get booked up for later in the year when we experience some amazing waves.”
She added: “Because of my legal training I knew quite a bit about what type of business I wanted to set up and how to go about it but approached Business Gateway to ensure I was on the right track. My adviser spent a lot of time talking things through with me; he was very helpful especially when it came to my business plan. And as my business grows I intend to complete a number of the free seminars too to keep my knowledge up to date.”
John Shaw, Business Adviser, Business Gateway said: “Having competed at a high level in tennis during her youth Dee knows that hard work and dedication are needed if you want success; not just in sport but in business too. Her legal training has given her a fantastic grounding and understanding of what she needs to do to establish a business that has a sound future and we will continue to offer her advice and support as her venture grows.”
Dee’s interest in surfing was sparked while at university. After borrowing a wetsuit and board from a friend she taught herself how to surf the waves off Aberdeen beach before she honed her skills travelling the world.
She said: “I joined the university surf club and was relentless; out on the waves regardless of the weather and when I finally stood up on the board that was me, I was hooked. The support I’ve had from the O’Neill sponsorshiphas also helped me progress my surfing. My aim now with the school is to show people just how amazing surfing is and I also hope that I might inspire champions of the future.”
For more information on Coldwater Surf School, and to book lessons for the autumn/winter season, visit: www.coldwatersurfschool.co.uk
For more information on how Business Gateway can help your business grow and prosper visit www.bgateway.comor call your local office on 01224 289 725.
The Business Gateway contract in both Tayside and Grampian regions is run by Enterprise North East Trust.
This story appeared in the Press & Journal, The Times, The Daily Mail, The Scotsman and was picked up by STV.
This exposure has been helpful for Dee, she said:
"I found the free PR through Business Gateway very beneficial. After the articles, I received numerous enquires and emails from people looking to book surf lessons. I have had increased numbers on social media sites and I have already started taking bookings for my autumn season which will commence in October."
Press and Journal - Your Job - Friday 9th of August 2013.Back to blog