Action Outdoors are the UK partner of UCPA, a huge French non profit organisation that offers over 80 different activity courses at 70 destinations across France plus a further 19 centres overseas. Union national des Centres sportifs de Plein Air, has built a 50 year legacy in the realm of French outdoor sports. Originally established by the government to encourage young people to take more holidays and experience the outdoor lifestyle, it is now a chartered organisation which continually promotes and grows the sense of enjoyment through outdoor sporting activities. In line with the original purpose of the UCPA, to make outdoors sports and coaching accessible to young people, age restrictions apply.
UCPA train their own instructors, buy all of their own equipment plus manage their own centres enabling the costs to be kept as low as possible. By sharing rooms and clearing away your tables, you enter into the UCPA spirit, something that is proving hugely popular with the British. Although not a luxurious holiday, it is a very sociable week with everything included in the price; accommodation, meals, equipment hire, instruction and lift passes (if required).
The UCPA centres are located in the best locations in France for the chosen activity. They are purpose built activity centres so the majority can host their main activities within metres of the front door (beaches, pistes, rivers, golf courses etc) yet are never far from the local nightlife and amenities. The accommodation is 'hostel style'; simple, no-frills yet clean and comfortable. Some of the newer centres are of similar standard to a 3* hotel. Most centres offer the option of twin room accommodation for a small supplement however these places are limited. Due to the ethos of the UCPA multi share rooms are still the norm and provided as standard. Above all, the communal, social areas found within the UCPA centres wholly comprises the spirit of the organisation.
UCPA Instructors are either already fully qualified under the French BEES (Brevet d'Etat d'éducateur sportif) system or are currently under training to achieve their qualification (but are suitably qualified to teach the group). This is similar to the UK Coaching Course (UKCC - endorsed) programmes being introduced within the UK sports associations. Whilst the average age of the UCPA instructors is fairly young they have chosen to instruct their sport as a career and take the job seriously, albeit still having fun!
Huge Range of Equipment
UCPA are partners to some of the best manufacturers for the specific activity. The centres store a huge range of equipment as they fully appreciate that everyone is different and what suits one individual may not suit someone else. Every year 50% of the equipment is replaced therefore you can be sure the equipment is all relatively new and well maintained. The equipment you are provided will be based upon your level, course requirements and sizes required. The equipment room is open daily so any problems can be reported and equipment exchanged.
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