Platty+ is a small, friendly, family run water sports business based on the shores of Derwentwater, Keswick in the heart of Cumbrias Lake District.

We offer a high standard of both hire and tuiton. We are experienced in dealing with individuals and groups, children and adults (including those with special needs), families with young children, corporate groups and school parties.

Scroll down to read about our team and our current staff vacancies.

John Platt

After falling from a Windermere pier at the age of 5, John has been inseparable from the lakes. He has a vast range of knowledge and experience of Derwentwater. Initially qualifying to run sessions for a Venture Scout unit, it turned into the best job in the world. On the odd occasion John is not working at the lake he can be found paddling, sailing, biking, walking or playing with his grandchildren, “Grandad Boats”

  • BCU level 4 Canoe and Level 3 Kayak Coach with a SUP Discipline Support Module
  • RYA Dinghy Senior Instructor
  • RYA Powerboat Instructor
  • 25 years experience helming our Dragonboats
  • The one and only Viking Longship helm
  • Boat builder

Sarah Platt

Her first paddling experience was trailing her ducks behind a homemade canvas kayak on the Leeds-Liverpool Canal, aged one. Has endless patience with John’s mad cap ideas. The “real boss”, facilitator, superviser, organsier, cleaner, office guru and all-round dogs body. When not working loves playing with her grandchildren, “Granny Boats”, and apparently makes the best biscuits in the world

  • BCU Level 2 Canoe
  • RYA Dinghy Instructor
  • RYA Powerboat Instructor

Ryan McGlen

Ryan has been involved with paddle sport for just under 10 years, introduced to it through the Air Training Corp, he has been hooked ever since. He started off volunteering at a centre local to his home town of Swindon. He enjoys all elements of paddle sports particularly, since Platty +’s recent acquisition of, Stand Up Paddleboards which offer a truly unique experience, but he is most comfortable in a kayak bobbing down a gentle river. When not hard at work, you’ll find him out on one of Cumbria’s local crags, ticking off Wainwright’s or training for his latest triathlon challenge.

Why not come and meet Ryan at Platty +. Book your first lesson and he will be more than happy to help you take your first tentative steps into the world he loves.

  • British Canoeing Level 2 with a SUP Discipline Support Module
  • British Canoeing 4 Star Whitewater Training
  • VHF Radio license
  • RYA Safety Boat Driver
  • 5 years chasing John in a Dragon boat
  • Wild water swimmer

Chris Jones

Chris was born in Keswick. He spent his childhood getting lost on the surrounding hills whilst covered in mud. He took up mountain biking as soon as he could stay on a bike. It was after leaving school, whilst completing a degree in Outdoor Leadership, that he started kayaking. This quickly became his favourite pastime. He loves nothing more than paddling rivers all around the country. Since finishing his degree, Chris has worked all over this country and abroad in a range of different centres.
When there’s no water in the rivers, Chris fills his time walking in the mountains, mostly with the dogs, plus the occasional rugby game.

With his range of experience, Chris is happy to pass on his love of kayaking now he has returned to the stunning environment of Keswick. Let him take you on a journey around Derwentwater.

  • British Canoeing Level 2 with a SUP Discipline Support Module
  • British Canoeing 3 Star Canoe Whitewater and Sea Kayak
  • British Dragonboat Association Helm a new challenger for John and Ryan
  • Mountain Biker

In addition to discipline specific qualifications all supervising staff hold a valid First Aid qualification and have a DBS (Disclosing and Barring Service) Enhanced Criminal Record Certificate.

Connor Turner

“I just love kayaking”

Connor immediately become interested in paddling following his first kayak experience with his Dad, aged six, with his local club! Since then he has never stopped. Going from strength to strength he branched in to competitive Slalom and most recently Whitewater River Racing. His latest success has resulted in selection to represent GB in June at Augsburg in the River Racing Senior World Cup and the Under 23’s World Championship, in July, in Austria.

Outside of competitive stardom, Connor can be found on the water in any craft he can get his hands on, competitive or otherwise! White water, Polo, Slalom, Sprint you name it.

So, whether it’s a fun taster session or technical refinement you’re looking for, Connor’s insatiable enthusiasm for the sport, combined with his coaching skills and experience, you will have a fantastic time or maybe your first steps towards GB selection.

  • British Canoeing Level 2
  • British Canoeing 3 Star Canoe and Whitewater
  • RYA Powerboat Level 2
  • British Canoeing GB Under 23’s Whitewater River Racer
  • Budding Photographer
  • Loves cake

In addition to discipline specific qualifications all supervising staff hold a valid First Aid qualification and have a DBS (Disclosing and Barring Service) Enhanced Criminal Record Certificate.


Platty + offers a unique opportunity to work in a wonderful environment based on the beautiful shores of Derwentwater, Borrowdale as a member of a small team.

You will have the chance to work with our massively varied client group on a range of activities. In house training, will be provided to assist with the more unusual activities such as raft building, dragon boating and the Viking long ship. As well as working with groups we offer hire and tuition facilities to individual members of the public, our policy is to try and accommodate anyone.

In 2017 we are looking for one full time seasonal member of staff. Contract period will be by arrangement from the middle of March to end-September which may be extended if centre bookings are sufficient.

Remuneration will be dependent on qualification and experience, minimum of £15600 pro rata. Hours will be flexible based on 40 hours per week including weekends.

John and Sarah both work full time within the business as instructors and business managers. This year we are employing Ryan, as a full-time coach, in his 5th year with us, plus one additional instructor and freelance instructors during the busy period. Our past staff have enjoyed their time with us as they have returned year on year gaining experience and enhancing their qualifications.

The instructor should hold a valid UKCC British Canoeing Level 1 coach award preferably with 3 star in kayak or canoe.

If you hold the following awards this would assist you greatly.

  • R.Y.A. Dinghy Instructor
  • R.Y.A. Powerboat Level 2 certificate
  • British Canoeing Discipline Support Module Stand Up Paddleboard.

We are prepared to provide training and assessment for relevant National Governing Body qualifications.

You will work as part of our small team to provide the day visit water sports sessions as per your qualifications. This will include coaching the activity and educational elements. Instructors will be expected to prepare for and independently run sessions and clear away at the end of the day, some cleaning and maintenance of the equipment and facilities will be required.

The centre is none residential and cannot offer any accommodation or food. Keswick is within easy access and has a community of instructors who share accommodation. Car sharing with our other staff is a possibility.

At the offer stage, you will need to apply for an Enhanced Criminal Records Disclosure, with Barred List check through Disclosure and Barring Service.

quality badge

Copyright 2017 Platty+ | All Rights Reserved | Sitemap | Web Design by KCS Computer Solutions