From top: Oysterhaven Centre in Cork; watch leaders Idris and Guelord
At the watersports and activity centre Oysterhaven in Kinsale, Co Cork.
“A group of 10 to 12-year-old children in Cork will take part in beginner sailing/ windsurfing/general watersports courses at the Oysterhaven Centre, awarded best training centre in the Southern region in 2019 by the Irish Sailing Association (ISA).
“Our participants will have the chance to work towards ISA/IWA accreditation in sailing and windsurfing. Our aim is that some of the initial group will ultimately progress to instructor level.
“In the past we have had young people take part in Tall Ships voyages who subsequently trained as Watch Leaders and went on to crew sail training voyages as part of the crew.
“Our new programme is a more ambitious, long-term project. It aims to give young people the opportunity to gain enduring skills and qualifications, and thereby integrate in the Irish workforce, as well meeting our long-standing aim to foster social and cultural integration.
“The young people taking part this year are from direct provision centres in Mallow, Co Cork and Kinsale Road Direct Provision Centre in Cork City.
“This project was inspired by the late Kevin O’Brien who worked tireless at Sligo V.E.C. for many years creating generations of sailing instructors in Sligo, in communities who would not otherwise have had access to the sport.”
Anyone who wishes to sponsor a child or donate to this initiative can do so here