National Charity UKSA based on the banks of the River Medina at Cowes has been appointed the Official Charity for this year’s Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week which takes place from 2nd – 9th August.
Cowes Week Limited (CWL) and Aberdeen Asset Management were delighted to announce that, following an extensive evaluation process, they have jointly selected UKSA as the official event charity for Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week for the next two years.
Many Island organisations and schools use the facilities of UKSA and local children are instructed by the trained staff of this charity who also train national organisations and individuals who use this charity to gain water sport skills.
Last Summer Island Brownies and leaders enjoyed a water sports evening at UKSA. Brownies from units in Brighstone, Carisbrooke, Totland and Yarmouth took up the challenge of designing rafts. After the designs were finished it was making up the rafts followed by the girls seeing if the rafts would float. If they did, then which team would win the raft races.
Some unusual designs were drawn up but when it came to the raft building three conventional rafts came down the slipway ready for the races.
Instructors from UKSA led the activities with Brownie leaders giving support but the girls really got to grips with sailboards, ropes, wooden poles and paddles and some knots learned at Brownie meetings came in handy.
All the Brownies were capable swimmers and teamwork really paid off when the raft races began. There were races with the girls sitting and standing on the rafts and all three designs stood up to the test.
Encouraging youth participation in sailing will play a vital part in the continued success and popularity of the sport and more specifically of events like Cowes Week. CWL and Aberdeen Asset Management therefore felt the time was right to appoint a national charity based in Cowes whose primary aim is to provide young people with opportunities in sailing.
Commenting on the decision, Michelle Warner, Sales and Marketing Director at Cowes Week Limited, said: “Supporting youth sailing is important for the future development of Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week and therefore it’s fitting to focus the charitable objectives of our event on this inclusive approach. Any funds raised during the regatta will support specific youth development initiatives to benefit children on the Island as well as further afield. UKSA has great resources in place on the Island and a local presence in Cowes; we’re delighted to be working with them”.
As part of UKSA’s involvement with the regatta, they will be providing opportunities for all-comers to get afloat and experience the excitement of sailing at this event. In addition, they will be engaging with the public shore-side with a presence at one of the main exhibition sites and working closely with the local business community and event sponsors.
Richard Thornton, CEO of UKSA commented: “We are extremely proud and excited to be chosen as the new Cowes Week official charity. The core values of our organisation fit seamlessly with Cowes Week: challenge on the water while also having fun. Being the chosen charity is a big step forward for UKSA, and falls nicely in line with our strategy to massively increase the number of young people on our youth development programmes from 200 a year to 2,000 – the boost from being Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week’s chosen charity will be a huge help towards this. We have a range of exciting activities planned for the regatta, designed to promote inclusivity for all. We want to show that sailing is more than just a hobby; it is a catalyst that transforms people’s lives. One of our key aims as official charity will be to raise enough funds to offer every Year 6 primary school child on the Island the opportunity to get on the water with UKSA, and we are delighted that this takes us a step closer to making this dream a reality.”