Students Set Sail

A group of students from Sir John Talbot’s and The Marches School recently took to the water for four weeks of sailing sessions with Shropshire Sailing Club in association with Energize Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin. After spending two sessions on dry land, learning all about rigging the boats and being taken through capsizing drills, they were fitted for their equipment ready to head out on the water. Then, over the course of a further four sessions, the students were given the chance to set sail for real.

During the sailing sessions, which are aimed at building basic sailing skills for beginners, as well as imparting knowledge about the boats and the principles of sailing, they got to grips with the boats and spent time practicing their tacking (manoeuvring the boats). At the end of the four weeks, John Ridgers of Shropshire Sailing Club, who ran the course for the students, invited parents along to watch the final session and to enjoy a presentation ceremony during which the proud students received their certificates, having qualified for their RYA Youth Sailing Scheme Stage 1.

Mr Ridgers, commented: “Seeing these twelve students achieve their RYA Youth Stage 1 awards, having never been in a dinghy a few weeks ago, is outstanding. Over the six sessions these two groups of students have come together as one, in their friendship, respect and support for one another. They have overcome challenges and personal fears in a safe, controlled environment whilst at the same time having great fun!”

Shropshire Sailing Club has recently become an official RYA OnBoard club – a grassroots scheme for young people, run by sailing’s national governing body, the RYA (Royal Yachting Association). It provides low cost sailing opportunities for schools and youth groups, enabling young people aged 8-18 to learn to sail.

Mr Brown, a PE teacher at Sir John Talbot’s who accompanied the students throughout their course, commented: “I personally think that our students have become more self-confident and independent as a result of this experience. Not only have they been introduced to a new sport but, through the excellent instruction they have received, they have learned and developed skills which reach far beyond sailing.

For more information about Shropshire Sailing Club please visit

Posted by marchesadmin on 9th July 2016, under Uncategorized

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