Gosport Marine Scene is offering 10 youngsters aged 14-17 from the Gosport area the chance to get a sail bursary and compete in the Small Ships Race.

The sail training bursary called ‘Gosport Marine Futures’ includes a place in the Small Ships Race and all 14-17 years old living in the Gosport area can apply.

“The crew will begin a 6-month course of team building activities and sail training, designed around school commitments, with Gosport’s Little Brigs, Cowes-based UKSA and GAFIRS, the Stokes Bay rescue service. In August, our team will race from Dartmouth to Gosport with Discovery Sailing Project, competing against 150 young crew from around the UK,” explains Councillor John Beavis MBE who, together with the teams at Motiv8 and the Gosport Community Safety Partnership, was Gosport Marine Scene’s inspiration to develop the programme.

Upon completion of the sail training, the crew will earn RYA Competent Crew accreditation, and receive support to join local sailing clubs or the Gosport Sea Cadet Unit, to continue to develop their skills. They will also get the chance to meet local employers for marine work experience and become the Gosport Marine Scene Youth Ambassadors.
On 27th May 2017 those who have taken part in the training will pass on the baton to the next crew at the Gosport Marine Festival.

Speaking at Bridgemary School, to students attending the Gosport Enterprising Women event, Abby Thomson, Founding Director of Gosport Marine Scene said: “We aim to inspire the next generation to take up sailing and careers in the maritime sector. Over 1000 free on-the-water taster sessions have been delivered since 2013. Gosport Marine Futures is the next step for us. This will be an adventure, a challenge, and an experience you will never forget. The skills you learn will help you for your whole life.”

Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage added “I hope all the Gosport community will get behind our crew and follow their progress via the Gosport Marine Festival facebook page”.

To apply visit www.gosportmarinefestival.org.uk where you can download full details on Gosport Marine Futures, including dates and an application form. The closing date is 21st February 2016. Sailing experience is not needed but participants must be up for a challenge and be keen to learn. The 10 successful crew, together as a team, will fundraise £150pp, which is the final 10% of the cost of the programme.