On The Water will give some 1,200 children and young people from disadvantaged backgrounds with the chance to experience the thrill of water-based adventures and earn qualifications this summer. This year’s programme is offering young people aged 9-14 a chance to try out sailing, paddle sports and much more, free of charge.
This summer’s programme will be held in three locations: Royal Docks (London), Crosby (Merseyside) and the Edgbaston Reservoir (Birmingham).
Qualified instructors deliver all sessions on a wide range of water sports, from basic to intermediate level, to young people who might not normally be able to experience such activities.
Through this outreach project, we hope to encourage young people to progress throughout the programme by gaining certificates and national accredited qualifications as well as the chance to make new friends from their local area, boost their self-confidence and expand their horizons.
Young people who took part in our On The Water in 2019 survey reported that it was a highly positive experience, with 78% of them saying they really enjoyed themselves, 73% saying the event allowed them to challenge themselves and 71% saying the programme helped them to be more confident to try out new things.
Young people from disadvantaged backgrounds tend to have limited access to leisure activities while COVID-19 and the prolonged lockdown has brought new challenges for young people,” says On The Water Coordinator, Hugo Dell. “We hope this project will boost young people’s spirits and give them a chance to exercise, have fun and provide them with long-term benefits too.”
In April 2019 we wanted to help them find a new focus and challenge to help with confidence and self-belief. Through the club, we reached out to young people in some of the most economically deprived areas in London. Many did not necessarily have the same opportunities others their age had.
Sea Cadets awarded 52 free nationally recognised qualifications to young people during the project; while these were available to everyone, some did not take the offer up, preferring instead to just enjoy the extracurricular activities on offer.
“My son was only booked on for 2 session but he enjoyed it that much he begged to stay the whole week even in the rain and the freezing weather.”
“He has never done anything like this before and he enjoyed it so much, his confidence has noticeably improved… it has brought out a side of him we haven’t seen before and it is a joy to see.”
“Thank you for making the summer of 2019 so memorable and enjoyable for my son. When he started the programme he was hesitant to try new things was scared of sailing and terrified of capsizing. By the end of the programme he fell in love with kayaking and sailing…. He is very proud to be getting his paddle sports certificate and has now join Sea Cadets.”
“This is something they would never have been able to do the fact that you gave three taster lessons has ignited in them a love for watersports (they can’t wait until next time)!”
“Last week I came to the Royal docks to try out the boats. They were amazing!!… Eric was a fabulous teacher. I really enjoyed it. We had never done watersports before. I got splashed a lot but I didn’t mind. Going in the speedboat was lovely as well. Thank you Sea Cadets ”
Quotes from young people and their and parents, 2019.
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