On The Water will help some 1,200 children and young people from disadvantaged backgrounds 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 two locations: Royal Docks Boat Station (London) and Midlands Boat Station (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 surveys reported that it was a highly positive experience, with 79% of them saying they really enjoyed themselves and 71% saying they wouldn't have had the chance to try watersports activities if it wasn't for the programme.
Young people from disadvantaged backgrounds tend to have limited access to leisure activities. The hope is that 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.
With thanks to Gosling Foundation, Stelios Philanthropic Foundation, Capita plc and others for making this incredible opportunity possible!
AAA (Ambition Aspire Achieve) Zone are one of the groups who took part last year and will be at London's Royal Docks to take part in the programme again this year. The charity provides opportunities for young people most in need living in the London Borough of Newham.
“The young people we work with have the opportunity to experience being on the water thanks to the Sea Cadets summer outreach programme,” says Ann Sparrowhawk, AAA Zone’s Project Coordinator. “Trying out watersports such as sailing and kayaking has a really positive impact on the young people’s physical, mental and social development.”
We gathered some quotes from young people and their and parents:
“I could not afford to take my child to do activities like this in the holidays so I am very grateful to Sea Cadets for giving them this opportunity".
“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 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”
“My son has autism... I am so thankful to Sea Cadets for giving my child this opportunity and I still can't believe he's done it. Seeing the pictures of him sailing made me so proud”.
For press interested in highlighting the project please contact Michelle Pellegrino at firstname.lastname@example.org for further info.
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