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WATERSPORTS: Pupils enjoy benefits of big link-up
BUDMOUTH College and the Official Test Centre (OTC) have launched a partnership to create opportunities for students to take part in windsurfing and stand-up paddleboarding.
The day was a great success and even though the weather conditions proved a big challenge, 80 students enjoyed a great experience on the water.
The first session involved all the Year Nine GCSE students, who all faced a physical and mental test in the wind and rain.
Some were unsure of watersports to begin with but they all came away with smiles on their faces.
Student Jacob Read, who was apprehensive at the start, said: “I really enjoyed that in the end – it wasn’t anything like I expected.”
Budmouth is committed to creating opportunities for its students and sports teacher Rich Bullock was delighted with the outcome of this latest event.
He said: “As a sports department, Budmouth appreciates the need to inspire students to continue to take part in physical recreation or competitive sport after leaving college.
“And due to its geographical location both windsurfing and stand-up paddling are literally on the doorstep.
“Outdoor and adventurous activities can increase student self-esteem, communication skills, teamwork and introduce life skills which they can take forward into the wider community.
“Windsurfing also offers many opportunities for students, from simply taking part to competitive racing and also a possible entry to employment.
“Many companies seek seasonal instructors and the OTC can offer instructor courses for sixth formers with additional work experience.”
Reflecting on his own experiences, Bullock went on to add: “Being a keen sailor and windsurfer, I gained my dingy instructors’ qualification and applied to work in a watersports centre in Corsica.
“I taught sailing and water-skiing for three months and the experience changed my life, giving me confidence, life experience and an amazing adventure.”
OTC manager Tris Best went on to add: “We’re very excited about the new partnership with Budmouth College and see it as a great opportunity to provide a clear pathway for their students into the sports of windsurfing and stand-up paddling.
“Portland Harbour is one of the best locations in Europe to progress in our sports and this union builds on the hard work already jointly achieved by our team and the college’s sporting staff to help develop the pathway and encourage participation.”
At present, Budmouth uses the OTC for sixth form enrichment but their plans are to have more windsurfing clubs at key stage three and four levels, GCSE windsurfing, staff development/teambuilding activities and also starting the coaching programme for instructor training.
If anyone would like more information they should visit the Budmouth Sports website for more pictures and links to the OTC Windsurf Centre.
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