Lily Carter had no idea what present she wanted for her 14th birthday. But she'd always been keen on challenging sports, especially to do with water, like surfing and soiling. So when her parents heard about an activity called coasteering - exploring rocks along the coast by climbing and swimming - they thought lily would love it. They found a course offered at an activity centre called Porthdean, just along the coast from the family It borne, which was perfect. So after checking it was led by experienced instructors, they signed her up.
Lily had seen a TV show about coasteering, and was interested in doing it, although she'd thought only adults could take part. But then she discovered that on courses at Porthdean, there'd also be people her age jumping from rocks into the sea, and also exploring coves - which she was never normally allowed to do. so she really wanted to go. But she still asked her dad to go along too and, although he wondered whether he'd like coasteering himself, he knew how much lily wanted someone to accompany her, so he agreed.
Lily and her dad drove to Porthdean, where they attended a session with their instructors to learn basic safety and techniques and be given helmets and special wetsuits to keep the cold out. The group they joined was quite small, which meant they got lots of individual onention. Says Lily, 'The were trip was awesome - although the water was freezing! But our instructors encouraged the whole group so much, we were ready to try absolutely all the challenges, even stuff we hadn't expected all, like jumping off high cliffs! I must admit, the one I jumped off wasn't that high, but Dad went much higher!'
'Anyway, Dad and I hadn't realised how hard it would be physically, so we were glad we were fit: explains Lily. 'Even so, afterwards, we actually felt like we'd done loads of hard exercise in the gym! But I'll keep the memories of that trip forever, I reckon. And the instructors are going to put a video of e onto the website, so my friends will see it. They'd never believe me otherwise!'