#TallShips - Sail Training Ireland’s 2017 Waterford Bursary Scheme voyages came to a successful conclusion on Friday at a presentation ceremony held in the historic Mayor’s Parlour in Waterford city’s town hall.
Mayor of Waterford City & County Council Pat Nugent presented certificates to the 20 trainees who took part in two week-long sail training voyages.
The Waterford trainees sailed on board local ketch Brian Ború, skippered by owner Tony McLoughlin. After a six-day voyage they sailed into Waterford city to be met by friends, family, and supporters.
The voyage had some challenging sailing conditions that the newly formed crew faced down with growing confidence as they formed a tight knit team who overcame adversity, which is a key part of a good sail training programme.
The happy participants told tales of sightings of dolphins and even a whale, along with monkfish suppers, sing alongs and storytelling. They urged others to get involved in the opportunity of a lifetime.
A note received by Sail Training Ireland from Faye Kennedy who took part really illustrates the essence of the experience:
“Although I am an average 17-year-old teenager from Waterford city, I am different to most, as I have had to deal with a chronic illness. My illness does not define me; however, it does challenge me. Sail Training Ireland has pushed me to overcome the challenges of life at sea. It has also encouraged me to believe in my own potential. I take away a new-found love of sailing with memories of the best week of my life.”
The bursary was established in 2016 in partnership with Port of Waterford, Waterford City and County Council and Waterford Area Partnership, who have generously supported the scheme again this year.
The scheme provides access to the life-changing experience of a sail training voyage for young people from the Waterford region aboard large sailing vessels and tall ships.
A key objective of Sail Training Ireland is to raise financial support to ensure that no young person is excluded from participation due to financial constraints.
The development of Regional Bursary Schemes has proven to be a very successful approach to providing this support.
Daragh Sheridan, chief executive of Sail Training Ireland, also spoke of his “delight at seeing a group of strangers at the beginning of the week becoming great friends by the end of it.”
Sail Training Ireland hopes that with the continued support of the existing supporters and the addition of some new sponsors that the scheme will be expanded next year. Visit
www.sailtrainingireland.com for more information or contact the charity at 01 816 8866 or [email protected]