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Henri-Lloyd Fathers Day 2024

HRH The Princess Royal meets East Wight primary school children learning to sail in Seaview

by Harriet Hadfield 18 May 22:57 PDT
Princess Royal visit to Seaview Sailing Trust © Sea View Yacht Club

'All Olympians have to start somewhere!'

HRH The Princess Royal has taken to the waters off Seaview to watch primary school children learning to sail as part of a weekly programme of free tuition.

After visiting the Sea View Yacht Club and meeting members, The Princess Royal went afloat to see students from St Marys Catholic Primary School in Ryde enjoying training in small 'Pico' sailing dinghies.

After meeting the children as they de-rigged their boats on the beach, The Princess Royal then officially opened the Sea View Yacht Club's new training centre and boat park on Duver Road, Seaview.

The Princess Royal then gave a inspirational speech as she unveiled a plaque which reads: 'The Sea View Yacht Club Training Centre and Boat Park, opened by HRH The Princess Royal, President, Royal Yachting Association on 16th May 2024.'

The Seaview Sailing Trust, founded by the Sea View Yacht Club in 2022, is a groundbreaking charitable programme providing Isle of Wight Year 5 primary school children with up to 10 free sailing lessons during the summer term.

In 2023 the Trust delivered 1,840 sailing lessons to 360 local children, with those numbers expected to grow for this 2024 season.

A total of 14 schools from across the East Wight are now enrolled in the programme.

Students work to achieve either Stage 1 or Stage 2 certification from the Royal Yachting Association.

The Sea View Yacht Club has been providing sailing opportunities to local school children for more than 25 years.

The programme has evolved over the years, including enjoying support from four times Olympic sailing gold medalist Sir Ben Ainslie.

The Seaview Sailing Trust was formally set up as a charitable organisation in 2022 and has already raised £300,000 to fund the free training programmes.

The Trust has ambitious plans to double the number of primary school children it teaches to sail every year from across the East Wight.

Jane Sandy, Y5 teacher, St Mary's Catholic Primary School, Ryde says: "They just gain in confidence, it's pushing themselves, it's doing something adventurous... The sense of achievement is absolutely wonderful."

Aimee Carter, 10, St Mary's Catholic Primary School student says: "It was really fun to just see her and go sailing in the sea... I was extremely proud. She said that it was really good that we were doing this."

Andrea Minton Beddoes, Chair, Seaview Sailing Trust says: "For such a young charity, this royal visit was an incredible honour... The Princess Royal left Seaview today with a real understanding of how these sailing lessons are transforming children's lives - developing vital life skills such as confidence building, teamwork, as well as learning to sail."

Sara Sutcliff, CEO, Royal Yachting Association says: "This programme has turned a vision into a reality in a very short space of time... Sailing has huge potential for so many things, children learn teamwork, resilience, trying something new... this will have a positive impact on all these children."

Richard Dobbs, Commodore, Sea View Yacht Club says: "It was fantastic for members of the club to see the Princess Royal and the CEO of the Royal Yachting Association really engaging with the programme we have put in place for Isle of Wight primary school children. It really is changing lives."

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