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Shotley sailing club push the boat out to buy new dingy after power company donation

Youngsters in Shotley have set sail in a new boat after a donation by UK Power Networks to the coastal village’s sailing club.

From Press releases - 26 July 2018 12:00 AM

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The company, which delivers electricity to eight million customers across East Anglia, London and the South East, has given the club a much-needed £250 grant as part of its Team Sport Award programme and this has part-funded the purchase of a new Topper dinghy.

It donated the money following an application from employee Paul Ross. The 48-year has sailed from the age of 10 and is a volunteer instructor at the club.

Based on the River Stour on the Shotley peninsula, the club works hard alongside the sport’s national governing body, the Royal Yachting Associaiton (RYA), to ensure sailing is an accessible sport for youngsters in the local community aged from six to 16.

Paul, who works from the Ipswich office, said: “I’ve been helping run the junior dinghy sailing programme at Shotley Sailing Club for three years now.

“The children have been developing fast and the need for extra boats to further their experience was essential, and this is where UK Power Networks came in with their valued support which I know everyone at the club really appreciates.

“The money donated has gone towards the purchase of a Topper dinghy. This is a step up from the beginner craft and is already being put to good use by our more experienced young sailors.

“I’ve been sailing since the age of 10 when my secondary school offered it as a PE option and I enjoyed it because it was so different to other sports on offer.

“I’ve gone on to race at international level which shows what can be achieved by the next generation of sailors and we’re trying our best to get local youngsters on the water in a cost effective way.”

The Team Sport Award scheme is designed to encourage staff to volunteer in the community and is aimed at promoting healthy living, teamwork and development of sporting opportunities.

Hundreds of community and sports groups have benefited from grants since the scheme was set up. Last year £15,750 was donated to sporting groups connected to UK Power Networks staff.