8 August 2022
By Elaine Murphy
The renowned tall ship, The Brian Ború set sail from Cork today, with 10 young trainee sailors and 3 crew on board, as part of an annual initiative with Sail Training Ireland. The Sail Training Bursary scheme, supported by The Port of Cork Company as well as Cork City Council and Cork County Council sees two week-long voyages take place each year along the Cork coastline, to teach young sailors new skills.
The Cork Sail Training Bursary scheme was first developed in 2014, to use sail training as a proven youth development and education method and to make sail training on board tall ships and sailing vessels accessible for young people. This year will see around 470 young people across Ireland taking part in thirty voyages, bringing the total number that the charity has helped to almost 2,900. The youth participants are nominated through a network of youth and community groups in Cork and places are available to young people from all backgrounds and of all abilities.
On board, the young people become part of the working crew, fully participate in crewing, steering, maintaining, cleaning and cooking onboard. They learn physical skills and key information about the sea and sailing but the real teachings are in confidence, leadership, communications, resilience and an understanding of diversity.
Daragh Sheridan, Chief Executive Officer, Sail Training Ireland, said,“It’s fantastic to see these young people transform from a group of strangers at the beginning of the voyage to a close knit crew by the end of it. They return not just with new experiences but new skills, new friendships and new directions for the future. This amazing opportunity has been made possible thanks to the support of our terrific sponsors The Port of Cork Company, Cork City Council, Cork County Council, Ardmore Shipping, NMCI and the Irish Institute of Master Mariners.”
The Cork Sail Training Bursary scheme is one of the largest and most active on the island of Ireland and runs in parallel with similar schemes now in operation in Belfast, Drogheda, Dublin, Waterford, and Wexford. At the end of the voyage, an awards ceremony takes place where participants are presented with certificates and a number of trainees speak about how the experience has impacted on them. This year, the ceremony will take place in the National Maritime College.