Scores of pupils from Falkirk, Grangemouth and Bo’ness are being given the chance to try sailing for the first time, thanks to a scheme run from Port Edgar Watersports.
Ineos Rebels Crew is a free national sailing initiative that gives youngsters the chance to learn to sail over a 10-week period.
A total of 500 free sailing sessions for local schools will be delivered by the flagship Port Edgar centre in partnership with Olympic yachstman Sir Ben Ainslie’s official charity, the 1851 Trust.
The Trust was set up alongside his bid to lead the first British team to win what’s reckoned to be sport’s oldest trophy, the America’s Cup.
He said: “We’re passionate about getting more young people out sailing who wouldn’t normally have the chance to try it. “Thanks to Ineos’ support, we’re able to take our programmes to more young people and make a bigger impact - both in the classroom and on the water.”
Mike Morson, Assistant Waterfront Manager at Port Edgar Watersports, said: “We welcome the opportunity to encourage young people to get on the water and see what all the fuss is about,” he said.
“The aim is to encourage them to engage in sailing and gain employability skills.
“So far, we’ve run a few sessions for Bo’ness Academy with great success - we have had a lot of students keen to come back and look at achieving sailing qualifications with us.”
Falkirk’s Graeme High School, Bo’ness Academy and Grangemouth High are all set to benefit from the scheme.
Academy teacher Michael O’Donnell said: “When we heard that pupils would be given the chance to have such a wonderful experience free of charge, it was a no brainer.
“It has been a fantastic experience for pupils and they are desperate to get back and give it another go. We’ve seen them develop new skills as well as improving their resilience and their confidence.
“I cannot thank Ineos enough for all that they have done to provide our young people with such a rewarding experience”.