Nominations are now officially open for MDL’s Sail Training Awards, giving deserving young people the possibility to experience a week on board a sailing yacht operated by Ocean Youth Trust South.
The annual awards are designed to recognise, reward and challenge youngsters who have shown exceptional accomplishments and qualities that have inspired or supported others. Since launching over twenty years ago, the awards have rewarded more than 130 young people, aged between 12 and 18.
This year’s six award winners will experience an unforgettable sailing experience on board the Ocean Youth Trust South’s training yacht John Laing, which will depart from and return to Plymouth in July 2012.
At the beginning of the trip all the youngsters start by getting to grips with health and safety onboard – and for many it will be their first time on board a boat. The six then get the charts out and collectively plot their intended course themselves. They will be involved in all elements of sailing from trimming sails and navigation to duties such as scrubbing down, maintenance and cooking for the rest of the crew.
MDL’s Chief Operating Officer, Jon Eads commented: “Our Sail Training Awards are a very important initiative for us and we have so far helped well over a hundred youngsters to experience something truly exceptional.
“We would encourage people to think about nominating deserving young people they know, who would really benefit from an experience like this. For many of our award winners, it’s the first chance they have had to get out on the water, and the sense of achievement for everyone involved is tremendous.”
Mark Todd, Chief Executive of Ocean Youth Trust South, added: “The MDL Sail Training Awards have brought some truly inspirational young people to sail with us, and we are very proud to be associated with the scheme. Many of the young people have been through very difficult experiences but have still made every effort to do well and to support others.
“We aim to reward them with a fun, adventurous voyage which they will remember all their lives – but also to help them develop skills and qualities such as confidence, team-working and the ability to cope with unfamiliar experiences, which will stand them in good stead for the future.”
Past winners have included young people who have been outstanding achievers, as well as those who have been involved in voluntary work, those who have never had the chance to travel abroad, and those with added family responsibilities.
Winners will be selected from the regions in which MDL Marinas are located; the South West, Dorset, Hampshire, Thames Valley and East Coast.
The deadline for nominations is Friday 27th April 2012.