MONEY raised by the Dorset Echo will make a splash with a group of ambitious youngsters.

Pupils from Wey Valley School in Weymouth accepted £1,696.55 from the Echo for the Will Mackaness Trust.

The cash will help the cause – the Echo’s charity of the year – to achieve its ambition of giving every youngster from any background the chance to try water sports and develop their talent.

Staff at the Echo raised the money at a curry and quiz night at Weymouth College.

A presentation was made to Pam Govier and some of the budding sailors who are benefitting from it at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy.

Mrs Govier is mum of the late Will Mackaness, former headboy at Wey Valley, who died of a brain tumour in 2008. She helped set up the Trust in Will’s name because he loved watersports.

She said: “The money is going to go a long way to help youngsters get the chance to go windsurfing and Sailing.

“Every penny of this counts and I really appreciate it and I know all the children really appreciate it.”

Louis Goldsworthy, 16, has been sailing for four years and continues to do the sport he loves thanks to the Trust.

He said: “The Will Mackaness Trust has given me the opportunity to go out on the water.

“I’ve also been involved in fundraising for the charity and did a sponsored sail to Overcombe.

“I would like to become a professional sailor.”

Holly Morgan and Emily Fraher, both 11, have just started sailing lessons with the charity.

Holly said: “I love being in the water. As soon as I heard about having the chance to go, I wanted to go.”

Sam Anstey, 11, said: “It’s a good opportunity to meet new people.

The Will Mackaness Trust will next be offering swimming and beach safety lessons to youngsters.

The charity wants to capitalise on the success of the Olympics and produce the next Ben Ainslie, Mrs Govier said.

“We really see this as being part of the Olympics legacy.”

And Our Thanks To All You

THE Dorset Echo would like to thank all of the following people and businesses for their generosity.

Richard Smith, Sarah de Warren, SailLaser, WH Smith Weymouth, Weymouth Sea Life Tower, Weymouth College Adventure Academy, Weymouth and Portland Borough Council, Rose Bruce, Train with Charmaine, OTC, Weymouth College, Alistair Chisholm, Sprosden and Bowden Dorchester, Mr and Mrs Apps, Monkey World, The Wild Garlic restaurant Beaminster, Quaint Cakes, Janine Hodson, Sega, Twist and Pulse, the Granby Fun Factory, the Body Shop Weymouth, the Stables Weymouth, Starbucks Weymouth, Alf’s Fish and Chip Shop Weymouth, Andrew Care opticians Weymouth, Rosie Barfoot, Team GB sailors and Weymouth Fitness Camp.