Cymoedd learners set sail on ‘Challenge Wales’
A group of 10 learners studying on the Entry 3 Sport & Public Service course at the Nantgarw campus of Coleg y Cymoedd spent two action packed days aboard the world-renowned sailing yacht "Challenge Wales". The vessel is a 72- foot long, around the world racing yacht and is set up and run as a charitable initiative.
‘Challenge Wales’ charity is one of the most innovative youth work organisations in Wales, helping young people to achieve their potential. The volunteers donate thousands of hours each year to help young people develop their life skills to improve their employment prospects. In April, the qualified crew of ‘Challenge Wales’ who would be working with the group on this venture greeted the learners and tutor Val Smith at Penarth Marina, near Cardiff Bay. A safety briefing took place and the learners were kitted-out before setting sail along the coastline, to North Gower. To ensure a smooth voyage each learner played a vital part of the crew and was involved in helping to navigate, sail and steer, hoist the sails and prepare and cook meals for 12 hungry crew including vegan meals!
Liam Harris said, "It was great to have the opportunity to sail on a boat like this, it was hard work and we were kept really busy. We all had to work closely to ensure the safety of the crew and that everything went to plan. We carried out cooking and cleaning duties and the more exciting challenges of sailing the boat, including steering, learning the ropes and knots and preparing the sails. I really enjoyed the experience; the staff were brilliant and showed us so many new skills. We are all grateful to Mrs Smith for making this opportunity happen”.
Valerie Smith, Course Tutor at Coleg y Cymoedd, who accompanied the learners on the sail training voyage said, “I was amazed how well the learners embraced the activities and tasks asked of them, despite being out of their comfort zone. They prepared and cooked the meals, cleaned the yacht and eagerly participated in all aspects of sailing.
This opportunity helps to develop teamwork skills, improve communication skills, develop self-confidence and self-esteem and improve social skills - whilst having a good time. The learners enjoyed and gained so much from the trip including a qualification for the Agored Cymru accreditation in Teamwork and skills towards their Duke of Edinburgh Award. The learners were Joseph Furgusson, Liam Harris, Troy Bingham, Mark Griffiths, Keian Woodington, Owen Morris.