Chairman of the Chesil Trust believes in 'sailing for all'
Planning for the future is an integral part of the Olympic delivery authority’s mandate and a combination of charitable trusts, individual donors and County Council support has created Dorset’s ‘Sail for a fiver’ initiative, as David Dunn, Chairman of the Trustees of The Chesil Trust explains.
When was the Chesil Trust first set up and how was the ‘Sail for £5’ concept created?
The late Bill Ludlow established the Chesil Trust in 2002, to enable young or disabled people to enjoy the thrills of sailing. Bill made a tremendous contribution to the Trust, and his enthusiasm and drive are responsible for the success that it has achieved in a short time. The ‘Sail for a Fiver’ concept arose out of the Trustees discussions. The Trust was keen to fund young people to try sailing, but thought that the youngsters should show some commitment themselves and hence the £5 charge was introduced.
How many children to date have you helped try water sports?
Over 2,500 children in Dorset have had the opportunity to try out sailing for a half day session. These courses are run by ‘Sail Laser’ and Weymouth Outdoor Education Centre (WOEC). In addition the Trust has supported the Dorset Schools Regatta and in 2008 seven secondary schools participated in this.
After the children have had their first taster session is there facility for them to continue in learning the sport?
Yes. The Trust has provided a limited number of courses to enable a few youngsters to obtain RYA qualifications in dinghy sailing. There is also the possibility for them to gain further experience through the WOEC or Sailing Clubs.
How is the Chesil Trust funded?
In 2008, the Trust provided nearly £30,000 to enable young people to have the chance of sailing in Weymouth Bay and Portland Harbour. This money was raised with donations from charities, individuals, clubs and Dorset County Council.
Do you feel that the Chesil Trust is important in building a legacy to continue after 2012?
Yes. The Trust continues to introduce youngsters to an exciting activity, where they have the chance to sail and meet with potential Olympic competitors and possible Champions. The courses provide challenges to the participants, in a safe environment and demonstrate that sailing is a sport available to everyone.
To find out more about the programme, go to: www.wpnsa.org.uk