Debra Searle MBE
At the age of 37, Debra Searle has achieved more than most people would dream of achieving in a lifetime, including a first class honours degree, launched two companies, won World Championship medals, presented on the BBC, has had books published and has successfully rowed solo across the Atlantic Ocean. In 2002 HM The Queen awarded Debra an MBE for her achievements.
Debra, one of an identical twin, was born in Plymouthon 8 July, 1975. She completed the family line up. Robin and Christine Newbury now had four children – two boys and two girls. Debra grew up in Devon, England and attended Hazeldown Primary School followed by Stover School on the foothills of Dartmoor National Park.
After school Debra’s love of the outdoors led to her choosing to study a BEd in Physical Education, majoring in Outdoor Education. She graduated in 1997 with a first class honors degree and with a whole string of instructor qualification including Canoe and Kayak Instructor and Mountain Leader. Her lifetime ambition of becoming a Professional Adventurer was more alive than ever. She was later awarded an honorary Masters from De Montfort University.
Debra went on to gain a place in the Great Britain Dragon Boat Racing Team and spent much of 1998 and 1999 committed to intensive training for the European Championships inRome, followed by the World Championships inNottingham. The team came home with a collection of bronze, silver and gold medals.
Sadly Debra’s father died of Leukemia in between the two Championships. One of the most special moments in Debra’s life was going up to receive her medals in Romewith her Mother and Father looking on during a break in his chemotherapy treatment. Robin Newbury’s death spurred Debra on to start to live out her dreams and the race to become a full time businesswoman and adventurer began.