UKSA, the national charity that aims to make watersports accessible to everyone, has announced that it has received sponsorship from WightFibre, the provider of full-fibre broadband across the Isle of Wight. The sponsorship will fund Year 6 children to undertake its ‘Test the Water‘ programme until 2026.
The programme will enable all Year 6 Island children to participate in a free half-day watersports session this year. The aim is to support young islanders to gain water-confidence, alongside introducing them to sailing. In addition to covering aspects of water safety, which is crucial to island life, the sessions are designed to develop confidence and key skills, including communication, resilience and teamwork.
“At WightFibre we care about our Island community. Through our sponsorship of the Test the Water programme, we are happy to help UKSA deliver new and positive life experiences for many young Islanders who otherwise – despite living on an Island – would never get the opportunity to get in or on the water. UKSA does amazing things, and at WightFibre, we are happy to do our little bit to help and ensure this fantastic initiative will continue for many generations to come.”John Irvine, CEO of WightFibre
“The Test the Water programme was developed to make a real, tangible difference to young people in UKSA’s community, and we are really achieving that. This donation from WightFibre means children right here on the island can directly benefit from the funds. Sailing is often viewed as an elitist sport, and we want to change any preconceptions locally by providing all young people with the opportunity to experience the thrill of sailing and watersports, regardless of their background. It’s important we do not lose sight of the fact that 32 percent of children on the Island live in poverty, without the opportunity to reach their full potential, and need to ensure opportunities like this continue to exist and grow.”Amy Sweeting, Director of Development and Fundraising at UKSA
Since 2015, over 9,000 Year 6 students have taken part in the Test the Water programme, and so far this academic year (2022/23), 1,210 children have taken part in a half-day session from 11 local primary schools.
This sponsorship will ensure that more young people can experience the joy of watersports and sailing, and perhaps even inspire future career options.
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