Bournemouth and Poole College lecturer set to compete at renowned surfing contests

Bournemouth and Poole College lecturer set to compete at renowned surfing contests

Bournemouth and Poole College lecturer Mark Hagger is looking to retain his winning titles at both the Welsh Para-Surfing Championship and English Adaptive Para/Surfing Open this summer, and if successful has his sights set on conquering the SA World Para Surfing Championships (WPSC) at Huntington Beach, California this November (4th – 11th).

Para surfing is an adapted form of surfing that allows people with physical disabilities to ride ocean waves on a surfboard, and the Welsh Para-Surfing Championship will take place between August 18th and 20th and the English Adaptive Para/Surfing Open between 21st and 22nd September in Croyde, Devon. These competitions are part of the selection procedure for the world championships in California.

Since the age of 14, Mark Hagger has been surfing at local beaches across the south coast before having to stop due to a Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis. After a 10-year break, he returned to the sport as a para surfer in the prone two category, lying down on his surfboard. He hopes to retain his title this year at the English Open and work his way to the 2028 Paralympics in California if surfing is selected as a sport.

On his love for the sport and the lifestyle it provides, Mark Hagger said: “Since returning to the sport, I have been able to start a new journey and understand just how much the human spirit can achieve when your passion and drive are intact. I have had the privilege of meeting so many incredible and inspirational people through the para-surfing community who have taught me that life can change in a heartbeat but staying true to your dreams will beat any obstacle. The College has been very supportive of my surfing achievements and when I compete many colleagues tune in to watch on television.”

Mark Hagger has been a lecturer at Bournemouth and Poole College for more than 18 years, initially in Painting and Decorating before becoming a coach for electrical installation & Maintenance apprentices two years ago. Alongside his teaching at Bournemouth and Poole College, Mark has taken students to Devon on surfing trips to share his passion and encourage extra-curricular activity.

Phillip Sayles, Principal of Bournemouth and Poole College, said: “We’re incredibly proud of our staff for their achievement both professionally and personally. To have a world-class surfer on the team is incredible. Mark is a longstanding member of the College team and has inspired many students to believe in themselves despite obstacles that may be faced. We will be watching and supporting Mark’s progress through his exciting competitions this year and beyond.”

For more information about Bournemouth and Poole College, visit:

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