Over two dozen young, sailing trainees have completed the first six days of sail training taster days aboard tall ship Swan.
Organised by Sail Training Shetland and The Swan Trust, 30 13-23 year olds took part in the training days held between the 28th July and 2nd August, allowing them to gain experience and to hear more about future voyages with Sail Training Shetland, including taking part in The Tall Ships Races.
The taster days were a new offer from the sail training organisations due to Covid-19 and proved highly popular with 57 applications received in total, which led to a further three taster days being added.
Peter Campbell, chairman of Sail Training Shetland, said: “We were thrilled with the interest, which bodes well for Shetland hosting the Tall Ships Races again in 2023.
“Sail training is a unique experience, which builds confidence, skills and friendships and we hope these days will inspire those aboard to take part in a longer voyage when possible.
“We are very grateful to our sponsors for enabling us to offer the taster days free of charge, along with Summer Activities for Children and Young People Funding from the Scottish government.
“This meant that we could offer all applicants a sailing experience, especially important as we emerge from the pandemic, which we know has been particularly difficult for young people.”
In addition to sail training the course helps young people to learn about themselves and to discover hidden strengths and talents. It also builds self-confidence, independence, team working, communication skills and friendships.
Rachel Dorrat, a previous sail trainee who helped during the trips said: “I’ve had such a fantastic day on board Swan. There haven’t been many events during the past year or so for our age group to get excited about, so it’s brilliant to get the chance to go sailing.
She added: “I can’t wait for the opportunity to sail further afield too and, when the Tall Ships arrive in 2023 in Lerwick.
“I’m so looking forward to the atmosphere, events and perhaps, if I’m lucky enough, the chance to sail on a larger Tall Ship and experience a longer voyage with Sail Training Shetland- there’s lots to look forward to.”
A full report will appear in this week’s Shetland Times.