THE memory of a ‘generous’ and ‘kind’ man will live on thanks to a £100,000 donation to the popular Sail for a Fiver’ scheme.
The Chesil Trust, which oversees the scheme, was presented a cheque from Elma Shipley in memory of her husband Rod who died in 2012.
Sail for a Fiver will now continue to get thousands of youngsters to learn the sport for another three years.
The funding will also be used to provide two sailing boats to the Chesil Sailability scheme.
A celebration took place at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy to mark the 10 year anniversary of Sail for a Fiver, as well as its bright future.
The cheque was presented by Mrs Shipley to Olympic medal winner and patron of the Chesil Trust Simon Hiscocks and chairman of the Chesil Trust Di Ludlow.
Di Ludlow said: “Rod was known for his love of the open waters as well as his generosity, humour and kindness.
“He came from modest means and now his memory will live on through the scheme.
“The scheme will be renamed the Rod Shipley Sail for a Fiver scheme in recognition and thanks to Mrs Shipley for the generous donation in memory of Rod.”
She added: “The Sail for a Fiver scheme has enabled more than 12,000 Dorset children between the ages of 10 and 11 to experience sailing on our Olympic waters.”
Mr Shipley owned Chesil Beach Motors and was a popular local businessman.
Born in Pickering, North Yorkshire he was educated at The Royal Hospital School in Holbrook where he experienced sailing for the first time.
In recognition of this inspiration, his wife Elma, who lives on Portland, donated £100,000 to give local school children a chance to experience sailing.
Mr Hiscocks thanked Mrs Shipley for her ‘very generous’ donation on behalf of the trust.
School pupils from IPACA were also on hand to present Mrs Shipley a bouquet of flowers.
Portland’s Adam Greaves took part in the scheme in 2007, having never tried sailing before, and is now a local sailing success.
He told the Echo that first afternoon session sparked his passion for competitive sailing and urged local youngsters to give it a go.
He said: “Many children who live around here have probably never tried sailing but they should. This is a staggering donation and I am so pleased that the scheme will continue for another three years.”
The trust works with providers – the Weymouth Outdoor Education Centre and the specialist sailing school based at the Sailing Academy – which in turn works closely with schools throughout Dorset.
The programme allows Year 6 schoolchildren to sail for a charge of just £5.
The trust then tops this up to make sure the providers can cover their costs.