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Inspiring Stories - Parents

There are so many reasons why young people of all ages love being OnBoard. Here you will find just a few examples of these and the benefits that being on the water has brought those young people taking part.


Mum of Béa, Age 9
“Sailing’s given my daughter a voice. She has Selective Mutism, triggered by unfamiliarity and leaving her physically unable to speak. Many sailing activities don’t require speech and foster non-verbal communication. Through achieving and gaining confidence in this environment, she’s gradually started to speak quietly to the friends she’s made and her coaches, as well as in front of a few people at school. The turnaround is amazing.”

Mum of Harry*, Age 13
“Our son shied away from ‘traditional’ sports. Sailing made him see sport doesn’t have to be competitive; he just enjoys being out on the water. Now when people ask if he does any sports he’s very proud to say he goes sailing and his self-perception is that he’s sporty. He has gained so much confidence through sailing he now does other physical outdoor pursuits too. His self-esteem has really blossomed.”

Mum of David, Age 15
“Sailing has given David the confidence he can do things. He is dyslexic and had become introverted and frustrated. But, although not academic, he is very practical and intelligent. Sailing brought him out of himself. He is now a confident young man who helps teach the club juniors and has his RYA Powerboat Level 2 certificate. He never would have talked to adults, now he is always asking their advice!”

Dad of Sian, Age 17
“The opportunities to develop personal leadership skills through sailing have been very significant for Sian. As a volunteer activities leader, she takes on responsibility that has developed her ability to operate calmly and effectively under pressure and needs good teamwork and leadership skills. From this she has undertaken a number of leadership roles at school, including being part of a team of counsellors trained to help other pupils.”

Mum of Jack, Age 14
“Sailing and helping at the club has enabled my son to become friends with people of all ages, young and old, he can chat to anyone. He has become a real team player, mentoring, supporting, and above all being generous and kind. With safety paramount in sailing, he is able to give clear commands, doesn't get flustered, is able to think on his feet and not panic.”

Dad of Sam, Age 15 (OnBoard/JMST recipient 2015)
“Windsurfing has given Sam a focus and goals as well as a social life with like-minded people. He’s become very determined, and will push on until he’s finished a task. The confidence he's gained was demonstrated last year when he gave a talk on windsurfing to over 400 people in school assembly. Sam is a fun loving, ambitious, motivated, considerate young man who is a good leader and communicator.” 
Read more from Sam's dad - How windsurfing has shaped my son

*not real name

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