Opening the sport to new people

The Andrew Simpson Sailing Centre at Bartley Sailing Club offers new opportunities for some of Birmingham’s most disadvantaged young people

Encouraging youth sailing 

The centre's sailing and instructor schemes welcome children struggling to be part of mainstream education due to behaviour, difficulties at home, or involvement in gangs. 

The impact of these schemes can quite literally be lifechanging. “The centre offers a young leadership programme, giving young people the chance to gain experience and ideas about job opportunities within the industry,” explains Centre Manger, Rob Mallett.

“The behaviour we see off the water is very averse, and these can be difficult sessions to run. Children feel angry or they have low self-esteem but as soon as we’re out on the water their behaviour changes. 

"It’s all about the small wins, whether that’s a ‘thank you’ at the end of a session or someone telling you that they liked ‘getting wet today'."

Jack’s experience

Jack doesn’t find school the easiest of places but has found his passion and motivation through working on the water. He’s doing his work experience at the centre and for the past three years has been part of their Aiming High programme.

“I live round the corner but the first time I came here was with my school. It was the first time I got to enjoy being on the water. I’m learning how to sail, to do knots. I would like it to lead onto some kind of job.”

Discover more about Together on Water.