#sailtraining – The Drogheda Sail Training Bursary Scheme for 2015 in conjunction with the Irish Maritime Festival has been announced. On Tuesday last (18th November) the Drogheda Port Company and Sail Training Ireland hosted an information evening for school principals and local leaders in the education and youth work sectors on the scheme.
The main objective of the evening was to bring the scheme to the attention of the various schools and groups and to encourage them to nominate trainees for the programme for 2015 and beyond.
The scheme was established in 2013 by Drogheda Port Company and Sail Training Ireland in conjunction with the inaugural Maritime Festival and it is kindly sponsored by a number of local and international businesses. It is designed to potentially change lives by providing access to sea-going voyages for young people from all backgrounds aged between 16-17yrs.
Although Sail Training involves participants undertaking voyages on tall ships as part of the working crew; it is not all about sailing. The purpose is to allow them the opportunity to develop as individuals and gain a real sense of confidence, resilience, adventure, and in most cases this will have a profound effect on their lives. The unique training programme on board the ship is carefully designed by Sail Training Ireland, the national sail training organisation. There is a lot of passion and effort put into ensuring the selected trainees have an experience they will take with them through life.
This quote was taken from Carolanna Foley, a trainee on the inward voyage in June 2014. 'Now we stand here, not only as shipmates but as friends, capable of tying at least three important knots with our eyes closed, navigating by point, wind and compass, and enlightened by the knowledge that the only rope on a ship called a rope is in fact the bell rope!'
Speakers on the night included Michael Byrne, manager of Sail Training Ireland and Jonathan O'Brien, programme co-ordinator, Spirit of Oysterhaven.
The voyages next year will take place during the Irish maritime Festival in June and will again be on board the only Irish sail training vessel Spirit of Oysterhaven. Information packs are available in local secondary schools and youth group organisations.
Sail Training Ireland is also currently seeking leaders with experience in residential youth work or similar. If this opportunity interests you or indeed you would like to be involved as a sponsor of the scheme.