Surf's up: Webmaster is Faking It on TV

Will plucky dude's 'radical' surfing efforts convince the pros?

The webmaster of IT recruitment outfit Elan is going on TV to prove that his real world surfing skills are as good as his virtual ones. Elan's webmaster, Stuart Matheson, is taking part in Channel 4's successful documentary series, Faking It, in which plucky individuals undergo a radical job change and try to convince the experts that they were born to their new professions. On 6 November, we'll find out if Matheson can fake it as a professional surfer in front of a panel of judges. Matheson, who has worked for Elan for two and a half years, had never surfed prior to the filming but is now an avid surfer, visiting to Cornwall most weekends. As part of the preparation for the show, Matheson was taught by European Long Board Surfing champion, Guts Griffiths, and James Hendy from Surfers Against Sewage. He was put through a punishing daily fitness regime of cycling, sit ups, press ups and yoga as well as actual surfing - a bit of a change from the usual techie lifestyle. Matheson said: "Learning to surf was exhilarating but also physically tiring. Obviously it was a lot different in the sense that my work is mostly desk-based, and the rigorous exercise regime was something new for me. I had to really get into the part by having my hair cut, buying new clothes and picking up surf lingo. It was definitely a sharp learning curve making me more confident and giving me the drive to develop myself more. Surfing is now an integral part of my life". Patricia Asemota, HR director at Elan, said: "We were happy to give Stuart the time off to take part in the programme, as we realise that most types of hobbies and interests require skills - ranging from team building to training and relaxation techniques - that can easily cross over into the workplace". She added: "Outside interests can serve as a useful indicator of a jobseeker's suitability for a particular position as they can reveal key transferable skills. This is increasingly relevant to today's IT industry, where employers are demanding well-rounded individuals with general business skills as well as solid IT knowledge".

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