THE legacy of a Weymouth schoolboy will be the chosen charity of the Dorset Echo’s Going for Gold campaign.
The Will Mackaness Trust aims to give as many young people as possible the opportunity to experience the thrill of water activities by providing financial support and assistance.
It was set up in 2008 following the untimely death of the former head boy of The Wey Valley School and Sports College, Will Mackaness.
Will was an avid sportsman who took a full and active part in all aspects of school life, despite undergoing intensive treatment for the most aggressive form of brain tumour.
The Dorset Echo aims to work with the Trust to hold events and encourage local busi nesses to help get 500 children out on the water on windsurfs, dinghies and kayaks and other craft, ahead of the 2012 sailing events in honour of the 500-day countdown.
A £300 boost has already been given to the cause, thanks to the generous donation from the Weymouth Moose Ladies, based in Chickerell Road, who held a pamper night and other events and raise proceeds for the worthy local cause after hearing about the charity via the Echo.
The trust, which is currently applying for charitable status, boasts Olympic windsurfer Nick Dempsey as a trustee.
Will’s mum Pam Govier, who founded the trust, said: “It made my day when the Dorset Echo told me they wanted to get involved.
“Everybody talks about the legacy of the Olympics and this is a sure fire way for the people of Weymouth and Portland to benefit from it.
“We’ve helped dozens of young people to experience watersports and supported several of those to go on and develop their skills further.
“My son Will was passionate about watersports, he was fortunate to have been left money from an uncle but for so many young people it’s too expensive a hobby.
“By doing this, children not only get the funding but also the physical access to it. I’m so proud that something good has come out of Will’s death.
“He will never be forgotten, which really is fantastic.”
IT COSTS £90 to enable a child to complete a beginner’s windsurfing qualification of £180 to complete their dinghy sailing qualifications.
Youngsters are encouraged to contribute £20 to the session.
Businesses or individuals who would like to donate to the cause are asked to make cheques payable to Wey Valley School and to send them to the Will Mackaness Trust, Dorset Echo, Hampshire Road, Weymouth, DT4 9XD or to call the Echo on 01305 830984.