Ocean Rower and Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge Head Safety Officer, Ian Couch FRGS, joins BRIT
We are delighted that Ian has joined our BRIT Ambassador family.
Ian has achieved 6 World Records during his two rows of the Atlantic and one of the India Ocean. Since 2012, Ian has been the Head Safety Officer for the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge (TWAC) organised by Atlantic Campaigns. He is also the founder of Adventure Hub; the company focuses on developing the sport of ocean rowing, and planning and leading expeditions in a range of environments; from arctic to desert.
“With first-hand knowledge of the mental health difficulties that adults and students can experience, I am aware that there has been a significant increase in the number of young adults and students facing mental health challenges. It was deeply concerning to read that the Young Minds charity reported how the pandemic has had a devastating impact on many young people who told them that they are deeply anxious, have started self-harming again, are having panic attacks, or are losing motivation and hope for the future;, especially those who are dealing with multiple pressures, have been bereaved or have experienced other trauma during this time.
The vision of the British Inspiration Trust (BRIT), to support and improve young adult and student mental health and fitness, resonates with me both personally and professionally. It’s great to see that BRIT have designed their BRIT 2021 Challenge to be inclusive so that students and staff of all abilities can take part in many different ways; by hand-cycling, cycling, wheelchair pushing, swimming, walking, jogging, running, rowing or paddling (canoeing, kayaking or paddle-boarding). I hope that this will be embraced by every university and college so that their students and staff are able to participate in a UK-wide feel-good fundraiser.
BRIT deliver inspiration and encouragement to students by inviting Olympians, Paralympians and sports personalities to unite in support of young adult mental health and join their BRIT Ambassador family. I am thrilled to joining the BRIT Ambassador family and urge my Ocean Rowers, Adventurers and Elite Athletes to join me; together, we can encourage as many universities and colleges as possible to enter teams in the BRIT 2021 Challenge and support their students as they complete their 2,021 miles and fundraising targets.
I look forward to encouraging students and staff at Keele University as they take on the BRIT 2021 Challenge, complete their 2,021 miles and raise vital funds for charity.”
Ian studied at Keele University between 1987 and 1990, where he completed a Bachelor of Arts (Joint) degree in Geography, History and Geology. He then served in Her Majesty’s Armed Forces between 1991 and 2008.
Ian’s involvement with elite sport began in 2006 with ocean rowing and he has achieved 6 world records during his two rows of the Atlantic and one of the Indian Ocean.
Since 2012, Ian has been the Head Safety Officer for the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge (TWAC) organised by Atlantic Campaigns. The TWAC has been running since 2013 and Ian has been the lead in developing and overseeing the training and safety for the event; in doing so, he has trained and provided safety cover for more ocean rowers than any other provider and the work within the race has transformed the sport.
Atlantic Campaigns organises and promotes ocean rowing endurance events, from conception to successful completion, maximising global media visibility and PR to enable participants to achieve their philanthropic goals. The Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge is now established as the safest and most successful ocean rowing crossing; one that has united over 500 people from 23 countries around the world in a soul-changing, human powered adventure across a sea wilderness.
Ian has worked closely with the CEO to develop the world's safest ocean rowing event - with a 99.7% success rate - and is passionate about optimising the race experience for all participants. His role encompasses the physical, psychological and logistical planning and support for all involved, including rowers, their families, supporters and sponsors. He also act as media spokesperson and race advocate for the events.
Ian is passionate about the life changing and life affirming impact of real adventure and the way this transforms, not just the adventurer, but informs and inspires the wider community.
In 2008, Ian founded Adventure Hub; his company focuses on developing the sport of ocean rowing, and planning and leading expeditions in a range of environments; from arctic to desert. Ian looks forward to continuing to develop the sport of ocean rowing, and wider expeditions, and in doing so, learn lessons to apply to a wider field of endurance and adventurous challenges.