Spotlight Story Strangford SC Instructor Team

Find out who inspired these young instructors and how they are getting on the picturesque setting of Audleys Bay
15 Aug 23

Instructor Profile: Strangford Sailing Club Team

Instructors at Streangford Sailing ClubI went down mid-week of a Youth Sailing Scheme course to visit the instructors at Strangford Sailing Club & check-in. My interviewees were Jordan, Isabella & Colin from Strangford Sailing Club & Killyleagh Yacht Club.

Strangford Sailing Club runs a series of courses throughout the summer. The sailors, children on this course, were loving it and not just them. I chatted with a Grandparent who relayed that the kids were having a great time and that she was so pleased to see them on the water, having been a volunteer coastguard member herself in the past.

Its not work.

What would you be doing if not this?

"Bored!, working in a shop or bar". Colin said; "it's not work" and dropped the undeniable quote; "Do something you enjoy and you won't work a day in your life." All three agreed just pointing out where they were!

How did you get into instructing?

It was the natural thing to do, they wanted to give back to the club and the sport. "We love the sport!" It's very much self-motivated as I had asked if they were encouraged by a parent or club member, and the answer was definitively no. From my view in the office, I thought a lot of instructors were getting into it because of parental or club persuasion, so it is brilliant to hear otherwise. And, it's not the first time I've been given that response when chatting with an instructor.

Great Support!

Did anyone inspire you to start instructing?

Colin said, "Hammy Baker, he taught me how to sail. And I would also say Andrew McClenaghan too." (Please, no one tell Hammy though!)

Isabella also added Graham Chambers from Killyleagh as a great support to her sailing and the youth sailing at the club. (Graham was a recipient at our most recent awards, read more here)

I asked the girls if there had been any barriers to them in sailing or instructing.

They said no, "Both SSC and KYC have had many female instructors and in fact, at one point KYC had only females." So they didn't feel disadvantaged. They also pointed out that on this course, with 5 instructors, only one was male.

Instructors at Streangford Sailing ClubWork for Senior Instructors?

It also transpired through the discussion that Isabella, who is a qualified Senior Instructor was working at SSC as a DI as there was no other opportunity for her. She said; "I had some courses (where she would have been SI) fall through, which is a shame, but I have taught a couple of courses as an SI". This is useful anecdotal information, there historically has been a big demand for Senior Instructors.

A highlight of the week for the instructors is getting fish and chips to celebrate the week, but one of the instructors was beginning the instructor's pier jumping as the celebration! The tradition in Cushendall was pier jumping too, but I think a trip to Strangford for chips sounds amazing too.

How do you celebrate the end of a course?

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Mary Martin, RYANI Workforce Development Officer