Over the 8 years The Will Mackaness Trust has:
- Set up numerous courses that have enabled youngsters to learn to windsurf and paddle board through the Official Test Centre based at Weymouth and Portland sailing Academy. In a bid to enable the youngsters to develop their racing skills further we have, through a sports England grant , purchased a fleet of RS: One race boards and have established a Race night each Thursday at the OTC which has proved extremely popular.
- With what was Sail Laser, but is now the Andrew Simpson Sailing Centre, also based at the Weymouth and Portland sailing academy, we have organised weekly sessions which have enabled the youngsters to achieve the RYA stages from beginners up to the advanced stages for developing seamanship and racing skills.
- We also understand the importance of experiencing travel along side water sport activities and to this end we have a given sponsorship to disadvantaged pupils to enable them to go on the Tall Ships Challenge voyages, and to pupils taking part an expedition to Alaska through the Dorset Expedition Society 3 years ago, we also sponsored Tom Mules when he represented GB in the world biathalon championships in Dubai.
- Since September 2013 we have facilitated weekly swimming lessons at the Weymouth Pool. Numerous groups who have had 6 months of swimming lessons each Saturday to ensure they can swim at least the 25m and build up their swimming confidence.
I believe the impact of the trust has been immense. As well as the enjoyment they have experienced while doing the activities many have organised fund raising events so that others may benefit from the trust’s support in the future.
There have been those who have gone onto take part in racing events, some have shared their skills by coaching others.
I have been incredibly proud to be associated with the trust and to witness the youngsters’ pleasure from their new experiences and developing their all – round skills.
I remember while watching the first windsurf course in May 2009 I thought how much Will would have loved to have taken part in such a course and how it came to me that without Will none of this would have happened.