MORE than 100 youngsters from Southampton and the Waterside gained a better understanding about life on the ocean wave thanks to the ABP Southampton Sailing Academy in 2017.

The Port of Southampton funded taster sessions for 8-16 year old’s at Southampton Water Activities Centre (SWAC) and the following schools took part:

Polygon School in Southampton

Redbridge Community School in Redbridge

• St Johns School in Southampton

Marchwood School in Marchwood

Holy Family School in Millbrook

Bitterne School in Southampton

• Sinclair School in Southampton

The ABP Southampton sailing academy is a legacy of the £100m investment by ABP to create a new 500m container-handling berth at Southampton. The four times gold medal winner launched the new sailing academy, with enthusiastic youngsters from SWAC.

Based at Floating Bridge Road in Southampton, SWAC specialises in getting young people active on the water.

ABP Southampton Director, Alastair Welch, said: “We are proud, through our continued support for the Sailing Academy to give local youngsters an opportunity to take to the water and learn new skills.”

Jon Kirby, SWAC programme manager, said: "Being out on the water gives these youngsters a taste of the freedom sailing offers and a chance to learn teamwork, communication skills and self-reliance."

Bookings for 2018 are now being made with the aim of engaging nine schools to give 160 children four sailing sessions.

Pupils from Redbridge Community School are pictured having a great time on the water, learning new skills and building confidence.