#boatgen announces line-up of events and new ambassadors for 2022

boatgen, a not-for-profit initiative, delivered in partnership by boatfolk and The Andrew Simpson Foundation, has announced a line-up of new events for 2022.

Following the success of the first boatgen get afloat day in October, 10 new events have been launched, with more to be announced soon. From Portland, Dorset, to Birmingham, West Midlands, the get afloat days aim to engage and encourage young people to experience the benefits of being on the water and will have the support of boatgen’s five new youth ambassadors.

The current list of participation dates include:

  • 13 Mar: #boatgen day – ASC Birmingham
  • 26 Mar: #boatgen day – ASC Reading
  • 27 Mar: #boatgen day – ASC Portland
  • 8 May: #boatgen day – ASC Portsmouth
  • 10 July: #boatgen day – ASC Portsmouth
  • 16 July: #boatgen day – Haslar Marina
  • 17 Jul: #boatgen day – ASC Birmingham
  • 18 Sept: #boatgen day – ASC Portsmouth
  • 25 Sept: #boatgen day – ASC Portland
  • 16 Oct: #boatgen day – ASC Birmingham

Regular updates, new events and registration for the activity days can be found at www.boatgen.co.uk.

Five new youth ambassadors join Tim Long, the very first boatgen ambassador who became the youngest person to solo-sail around the UK in 2020.

The ambassadors are located across the UK and aged between 16 and 24. With varying backgrounds and experience, each has been tasked with inspiring the next generation of young boaters to experience the freedom, challenges and amazing benefits that come with getting on the water. They will be actively involved in the boatgen days as well as raising awareness of boating opportunities among their peer groups.

Alex Mengham, 16, from Portsmouth is sitting his GCSEs this year. He started sailing at the Andrew Simpson Centre in 2016 and has since become an assistant instructor and dinghy instructor.

Alistair Mansfield, 24, from Lancaster is a freelance watersports and sailing instructor. Having started sailing at 11 with a sailing club through school, he feels it is important to show you do not have to have a family of boaters to get into the sport.

Both Molly Wilson, 21, from Basingstoke and Leah Gater, 21, from Bracknell are university students who have been actively volunteering in their free time. Whilst Olivia Elliott, a 22-year-old Secondary School Biology teacher from Weston-Super-Mare, has not had much boating experience yet, she is already proving her ambassador qualities by signing up to a learn-to-sail course, showing her students it is never too late to learn new skills.

Tim Long said, “I am really happy to be joined by the like-minded boatgen ambassadors. Being on the water allows me to experience a physical and mental freedom like nothing else. Watersports have such strong benefits and I think that every young person should have the opportunity to experience that. 2022 is going to be such an exciting year for boatgen! I cannot wait to meet the ambassadors and the next set of participants on the boatgen days.”

Richard Percy, from the Andrew Simpson Foundation, added: “Our ambassadors are the role models direly needed in the sailing world to help break down the barriers of circumstance. There is nothing quite like the feeling of putting a skill into practice, especially with the self-reliance that comes with being on the water. The work that boatfolk and the Andrew Simpson Foundation are achieving through boatgen will help provide people with the first of many boating experiences.”

Dominic Zammit, director at boatfolk, said: “The ambassador applications closed at the start of January this year and we were blown away with the response we had. We are delighted to have added five inspirational young members to the team who will play a pivotal role in making sailing and watersports accessible to all. We will open the ambassador scheme for further applications later this year, so any prospective supporters should follow us on Instagram and Facebook to keep up-to-date on the latest news.”

To find out more about boatgen and to sign up to one of the upcoming events, visit: www.boatfolk.co.uk/boatgen  

Use #boatgen to help spread the joy of boating and encourage participation.

For further information about boatfolk, visit: www.boatfolk.co.uk.

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