NEWS

JULY 26TH 2017

Sea Cadets help put wind in the sails of Northampton pupils

The youngsters being taught how to sail in Northampton as part of the OnBoard scheme

The youngsters being taught how to sail in Northampton as part of the OnBoard scheme

School children from two Northampton schools have been learning to sail thanks to local Sea Cadets.

A group of 12 pupils from Years Five and Six at Standens Barn and St Mary’s Catholic Primary School have taken part in several sessions of the sport held by volunteers from Northampton Sea Cadets.

It’s part of the Royal Yachting Association’s OnBoard project which aims to get more people aged 8 to 18 into sailing at a low cost, even if they live miles inland.

Northampton Sea Cadets have been providing the lessons in the town for the last eight years.

Lieutenant (Lt) Chris Read, the Commanding Officer of Northampton Sea Cadets, said: “Seeing the pupils experience sailing for the first time is always one of the highlights of the year for us.

“Without OnBoard, it’s unlikely these youngsters would ever get the chance to do something like this and it’s really rewarding to see them develop during the course.

“Since we started the OnBoard project in 2009 we’ve helped a large number of young people from Northampton experience fun on the water for the first time and some have taken their involvement in the sport further as a result.”

One of those actually helped teach the youngsters to sail this year. Petty Officer Cadet Jade Rickard joined the Sea Cadets after experiencing sailing through the OnBoard project as a 10-year-old pupil at Weston Favell Primary School.

Now 18, Jade’s competed at sailing at a national level and become a Sea Cadet adult volunteer. She was part of the team who used their free time to teach the youngsters on Saturday mornings over the last six weeks at the Sea Cadets’ Nunn Mills Road headquarters by the River Nene.

Lt Read, said: “I’m hugely proud of Jade and all the Sea Cadet volunteers who have worked hard to be in a place where they can give so much back to the community.

“Who knows, maybe a few of the cadets who experience sailing for the first time this year will go on to compete nationally in the sport and pass their knowledge and enthusiasm on to young people too.

“Part of the project is to reach out to groups of young people who would not normally consider sailing and we’re also looking to expand the OnBoard programme in the future and open it up to more young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.”

“Seeing the pupils experience sailing for the first time is always one of the highlights of the year for us."