The world’s most successful Olympic sailor, Sir Ben Ainslie, is helping to give hundreds of Hartlepool and Hull children the opportunity to try sailing for the very first time.
INEOS Rebels Crew is a free national sailing initiative that gives inner-city youngsters the chance to learn to sail over a 10-week period at 12 flagships centres nationwide.
Among the centres chosen to deliver sessions is Tees and Hartlepool Yacht Club, which is inviting schools from Hartlepool, Teesside & East Durham to take part. Also delivering the INEOS Rebels Crew initiative is Welton Waters Adventure Centre near Hull in East Yorkshire.
Each centre will offer 500 free sailing sessions for secondary school groups aged 11-14 from within a 20-mile radius in partnership with Ainslie’s America’s Cup team’s official charity, the 1851 Trust.
The charity was set up alongside Ainslie’s bid to lead the first British team to win sport’s oldest trophy, the America’s Cup. First contested in 1851, the trophy is older than both the modern Olympics and the FIFA World Cup.
Micky Early, Chief Instructor at Tees & Hartlepool YC, which is the only club in the North East chosen for the INEOS Rebels Crew initiative, is passionate about the invaluable work his team are delivering for the 1851 Trust.
“We are looking forward to giving local youngsters an opportunity to get on the water, try sailing an even work towards an RYA stage award,” he said. “These are children who likely wouldn’t otherwise have the chance to try sailing, so this programme will really make a difference to them.”
The 1851 Trust has invested significantly in their flagship centres, which have received branded kit for participants and instructors, as well as being trained to deliver activities and resources offering inspirational comparisons to the America’s Cup, the Formula 1 of sailing.
Together with the 1851 Trust, which is organising the national programme, the teams at Tees and Hartlepool Yacht Club and Welton Waters Adventure Centre are seeking to raise aspirations amongst the pupils taking part. Challenging students in an unfamiliar sporting environment, INEOS Rebels Crew aims to increase confidence, broaden horizons and develop important life skills, such as resilience, determination and teamwork.
INEOS Rebels Crew was developed by the 1851 Trust with support from INEOS and 2019 is the first year of a three-year rolling programme that aims to provide inner-city children with new opportunities. Nationwide, the initiative aims to reach 3,000 city children nationwide this year.
The 1851 Trust’s on-water outreach is complemented by STEM Crew, the charity’s digital education resources, which use the real-life example of sailing to bring STEM subjects to life for students. The STEM digital resources are available for free and currently used in over a thousand schools in the UK.
Ainslie, Trust patron and INEOS TEAM UK principal and skipper, said: “We’re passionate about getting more young people out sailing who wouldn’t normally have the chance to try it. Thanks to INEOS’ support, we’re able to take our programmes to more young people and make a bigger impact - both in the classroom and on the water.”
Your school can join the INEOS Rebels Crew! State secondary schools across Hartlepool and Hull are invited to find out more about signing up for their pupils by visiting