The UKSA is working to give all Year 6 pupils on the Isle of Wight the opportunity to get out on the water

London 2012 Paralympic gold medallist and UKSA ambassador Helena Lucas MBE was guest of honour when Isle of Wight pupils took to the water, as part of a new scheme.

The UKSA, as this year’s official charity of Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week, pledged to get all-comers involved in the regatta and use the monies raised to give all year 6 pupils on the Isle of Wight the opportunity to get out on the water.

The target of more than £35,000 was successfully raised and this week the objective became a reality.

Youth charity UKSA, offers transformational opportunities to 9,000 young people a year through sailing and watersports.

Richard Thornton, chief executive officer of UKSA, said: ‘Being the official charity to Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week has enabled us to achieve this milestone.

‘It is fantastic to see our objective become a reality and enabling those close to our centre the opportunity to experience the sea.’

Extreme weather conditions with winds gusting 40 knots and torrential rain meant the 30 Year 6 pupils from Cowes Primary School were unable to go sailing but took to the water in rafts instead.

The youngsters were also given advice from Paralympic athlete Helena Lucas about where the sport of sailing could lead them.

Helena said: ‘I remember when I first got in a boat, it was something I thoroughly enjoyed and transformed my life.

‘It is great to see pupils taking to the water today through the great initiative by UKSA. As an ambassador for UKSA, I really support grassroots development and the opportunities UKSA provides to young people in the marine industry.’

On Tuesday, children from Broadlea Primary School went sailing with UKSA. Over the coming weeks, every year 6 pupil of schools on the Isle of Wight will take part in their free sailing day.

Pictures: UKSA Amb​assador ​Helena L​ucas MBE​ (centre) with UK​SA CEO R​ichard T​hornton ​(top right) and Cowe​s Primar​y School​’s Year ​6 Pupils. Credit: UKSA

Students​ from Co​wes Prim​ary Scho​ol take to the water for​ their f​ree tast​er sessi​on. Credit: UKSA