Challenge Wales wins UK Sail Training Vessel of The Year Award

We are excited to announce that Challenge Wales, Wales’ Tall Ship, has been awarded the UK Sail Training Vessel of the Year by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) and the Association of Sail Training Organisations (ASTO) at an industry conference in Southampton.

The award is given to a vessel which has had an exceptional year and has fulfilled both the Sail Training aspirations of ASTO plus the seamanship and safety requirements for the MCA. The award looks at good management, the sail training programme, innovations in the types of young people groups working with us, maintenance management and how results are measured.

For Challenge Wales to win this award is a fantastic accolade to our volunteers, who donate so much of their time to volunteer with us, supporters and staff and a great start to 2017.  YAY!!!!!

Sir Alan Massey (left), CEO of MCA presenting award to two Challenge Wales trustees. Pic credit: Max Mudie / ASTO

Sir Alan Massey (left), CEO of MCA presenting award to Vicky Williams and Andy Hall from Challenge Wales. Pic credit: Max Mudie / ASTO


Challenge Wales works with a wide range of groups and in 2016 has developed its sail training programme to include accreditation in Teamwork. Sail training opportunities are available for those aged 12 – 25 years regardless of their background. Challenge Wales works with young people in schools, colleges and as part of their DofE Award, and also works with those who are particularly disadvantaged and need additional support to jump aboard.

Posted in personal and social development, Sail Training, Sailing, Young people | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A look back at 2016

Well, 2016 has certainly been a memorable year for Challenge Wales | Wales’ Tall Ship and before 2017 knocks on our porthole, we wanted to take a quick look back at the year. If you have missed some of our blog posts this year then we’ve linked some of them into the below too!

January and February
The beginning of the year is the time for training our volunteers and taking time out of sailing to undertake maintenance as part of our Planned Maintenance Programme. It’s often a cold, but fun and busy time of the year.

March
Challenge Wales  was a finalist in the South Wales Business Growth Awards in the Innovation category and although didn’t win was awarded Highly Commended. The same week Challenge Wales was awarded its largest grant to date to develop its accredited learning ‘Voyages of Discovery’ Programme – a 3 year programme of activities for disadvantaged young people.

April
Trialled a SEA and TELL programme – enabling those under 12 years old to come onboard. Although there is no sailing involved, the young people get to meet the Skipper, try winching, learn about the boat, see where everyone sleeps and to try out the bunks themselves and ask the Skipper & volunteers lots and lots of questions.

April saw the first of many residential youth voyages. One of our residential voyages over Easter had long lasting implications for one trainee who used it to turn his life around and break the cycle of unemployment he was in.

Learning the ropes

Learning the ropes

In April, we were also shouting at the television encouraging our London Marathon Fundraiser Runner to make it to the finish line. Well done for the amazing effort & commitment!

May
Challenge Wales continued with crew training and undertook the first of two ‘Sailing by the Stars’ voyage. Non-stop sailing which also involved seeing the International Space Station! (Yes, we did wave to you Tim Peak!). 2016 was Visit Wales’ ‘Year of Adventure‘ with the aim of putting Wales on the adventure map and we certainly provided some great Welsh adventures this year onboard.

Sailing by the stars

Sailing by the stars

June
Challenge Wales’ sail training season began and we were excited to be one of the Tall Ships as part of the Seafair Haven Festival in West Wales. Lots of local young people had the opportunity to jump onboard. West Wales is also a great place for dolphin watching!

Dophins swimming alongside Challenge Wales

Dolphin Watching off West Wales onboard Challenge Wales

July
Challenge Wales took part in its fundraiser Round the Island Race. A race against over 1,500 other boats of all shapes and sizes. It’s a day that adults can jump aboard Challenge Wales and experience big boat racing, while helping to support the charity. Challenge Wales beat the other Challenge 72’s (boats like us!) and then Challenge Wales headed to Antwerp to take part in the Tall Ships Races – one of the largest cultural youth events in Europe! We picked up a trophy along the way and an environment award – Yay! While the boat was working with young people in sunnier climes, our shoreside team spent a few days talking to visitors at the slightly rainier Bridgend County Show...meeting young people, adults and potential volunteers!

Taking Wales to Belgium, Spain and Portugal for Tall Ships Racing

Taking Wales to Belgium, Spain and Portugal for Tall Ships Racing

August
Over the summer we sailed almost 4,000 miles from Antwerp to Lisbon, crossing the Bay of Biscay, Lisbon to Cadiz (Southern Spain) and re, Cadiz to A Coruna (Northern Spain)…and all with young people onboard who met other young people from all over the world at the Tall Ships Events we were taking part in. A first was having a whale breach alongside the boat! We also celebrated International Youth Day on 12th August amongst young people from all over the world in A Coruna as part of the Tall Ships Races. We then headed back to the UK to take part in Small Ships Racing with other sail training vessels from the UK. August was also the month that our Youth Development Officer started – a role funded by the Big Lottery, and the month we welcomed hundreds of people onboard at the Cardiff Harbour Festival when we returned back to our home port after our summer adventure.

September
Many young people jumped aboard Challenge Wales throughout 2016 to take part in their Gold Residential DofE (Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme) and as an Approved Activity Provider for the DofE, we were excited to say ‘Ahoy’ to one of the Trustees of the DofE charity, His Royal Highness Prince Edward. We took him for a sail and he was shown the ropes by some of the young people we have had aboard this year.

HRH Prince Edward onboard Challenge Wales, before departing for the rest of his Royal visit in Cardiff

HRH Prince Edward onboard Challenge Wales, before departing for the rest of his Royal visit in Cardiff

November
A Sixtieth Anniversary celebration of the DofE was held at Westminster Abbey in the presence of the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Edward and the Countess of Wessex as well as celebrities, such as Philip Schofield, Charlie Boorman, Astronaut Chris Hadfield, Comedian John Culshaw, DofE volunteers and award holders of the DofE. A trustee of Challenge Wales, who is also a DofE Gold Award holder, was invited to attend and it was great we could be part of this very special event…and get a mention in the special Diamond Anniversary celebration booklet!

December
As the year comes to an end we get the phone call to say we are finalists in the South Wales Business Growth Awards in not just one but TWO categories, Innovation and People Development. Being a finalist is a great achievement but we will need to wait a few months until we find out whether we have won.

When we look back on the year we can’t believe or volunteers donated almost 14,000 hours of their time – amazing! We celebrated this achievement with a volunteer event in December in….Santa’s post office! Where else could you host a festive celebration event!

With 2017 on the horizon we’re looking forward to new stories, welcoming new volunteers as well as familiar faces back to the Challenge Wales fold, helping more young people achieve more, offering accredited voyages for the first time and raising awareness of sail training and its benefits throughout Wales and beyond.

We still need more support to do what we would like to do and fund those who need a bit of extra help to jump aboard, but we wouldn’t be where we are today with the support from businesses, funders, young people, group leaders, volunteers, donors and trustees.

Happy New Year and we hope you will continue to follow our journey in 2017!


To learn more about Challenge Wales’ youth work, adventure voyages, Tall Ships programme, bursary scheme, volunteering opportunities or how you can support Wales’ Tall Ship visit www.challengewales.org

Posted in Fundraising, Sailing, Tall Ships, Volunteering, Wales, Young people | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Challenge Wales announced as finalist in South Wales Business Growth Awards

Being a charity means working hard all year round to continue to make a difference. Recruiting and training volunteers, identifying funding sources, planning and delivering fundraising activities, undertaking strategic planning sessions to ensure we are on target towards our vision while understanding external influences outside our control can impact at any moment, working with beneficiaries and youth workers to ensure what we do is meeting the needs of the young people, evidencing activities and report writing for funders, developing ideas, consulting with stakeholders to name a few …..it’s ongoing.

Young carers working towards their Youth Achievement Award on Challenge Wales.

Young carers working towards their Youth Achievement Award on Challenge Wales.

As a visual charity (if you haven’t seen it, we have a big boat), that involves sail training on what is probably Wales’ largest sailing boat and sail training vessel quite often it can be forgotten in what is going on behind the scenes and what it takes to develop our volunteers and develop young people to improve their employment prospects and be seen as leading the way and an authority in sail training.

So it is always a fantastic feeling when we get told we are finalists for an award. As a young charity, it hasn’t happened all that often to be honest, but what a great feeling it was today when we were told we were finalists in not just one, but two categories in the South Wales Business Growth Awards. YAY!!!!

          

The Awards recognise and celebrate achievements across nine key areas of business growth and Challenge Wales | Wales’ Tall Ship is pleased to be shortlisted as a finalist in the Innovation category and the People Development category. Our excitement levels at Challenge Wales HQ are bubbling over, we feel delighted that the hard work of our volunteers, our innovative approach to learning, our positive can-do attitude directed at everyone regardless of their background and ability to improve someone’s own development is being recognised.

Youth development voyages on Challenge Wales

Youth development voyages on Challenge Wales

Sail training is often seen as people just sailing a boat but it is so much more than that; it is empowering, it is about developing teamwork and communication skills, it is about developing leaders, it is using decision making and planning skills, time keeping skills, it is about personal development and improving self-confidence. It is about improving social skills, understanding Welsh culture, wildlife, sustainability, it is about reflecting on one’s life before the voyage and reflection during the voyage in what can be a challenging situation and putting the skills learnt into an everyday situation. It’s about broadening horizons, giving people opportunities, putting a life-changing experience onto a CV. It’s about fun and camaraderie and meeting people from different parts of Wales, the UK and the World and understanding new cultures.  It’s also a nice link that Challenge Wales has been nominated for a business award and we are helping young people to develop skills to help them to get employment. We talked about the above in a previous blog post talked about “What price do you put on a life-changing experience.” It’s certainly worth a quick read!

 

Dophins swimming alongside Challenge Wales

Dolphin Watching off West Wales onboard Challenge Wales. The charity is also part of a Citizen Science [climate change] project to measure plankton levels using onboard equipment

It is great to be a finalist in what is often dominated by commercial companies, who aren’t charities themselves. Even small charities, like us, should be shouting about what they do and their individual successes (even when human resources are really limited!) as being shortlisted can only help raise awareness of the work they do.
Being shortlisted for an award is a fantastic end to a fantastic Challenge Wales year!


The announcement of the finalists of the South Wales Business Growth Awards 2017 will be on Thursday 2nd March 2017 in Cardiff. 

Posted in Festivals and Events, personal and social development, Sail Training, Sailing, Volunteering, Wales, Young people | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

There’s still time to celebrate Wales’ 2016 Year of Adventure

In 2016, Wales has certainly positioned itself as the UK’s top adventure destination.

For Visit Wales and the Welsh Government, 2016 was the ‘Year of Adventure’ bringing together people, venues & hospitality, Welsh destinations, Welsh activity providers and Ambassadors to put Wales on the adventure map.

Adventure is about discovering new and exciting places, having an unusual experience, being bold and just going for it. For some it is about pushing your limits and getting outside the comfort zone, for others it could be swapping GPS and mobile phone for a map, compass and walking boots or just visiting a new place for the first time and exploring at your own pace whatever your age or ability. And, the Year of Adventure is there to enable people to ‘#FindYourEpic’

Person on Challenge Wales getting ready to release the spinnaker

Getting ready to release the Spinnaker onboard Challenge Wales

Whether it is a zip wire, white water, wildlife & coast, mountain biking, castle, nostalgia  or festival that tickles your adventurous taste buds, Wales certainly has it.

With Wales having an impressive coastline, watersports should feature quite high up on an adventurers list. Rivers to explore by canoe or paddle board, wildlife to photograph, islands to visit, high speed boat rides to thrill and of course sailing.

Dophins swimming alongside Challenge Wales

Dolphin Watching off West Wales onboard Challenge Wales

With Wales having its own Tall Ship, Small Ship, Sail Training Vessel and round-the-world racing yacht that is there for those aged 12 – 75 to jump on – and yes, we are talking about one boat that ticks all those boxes – there has been no end of adventure in 2016 for those who have jumped onboard Challenge Wales. Some have been personal adventures, others have been memorable wildlife and cultural adventures.

Picture of Challenge Wales, wales' Tall Ship off Penarth Pier, near Cardiff

Adventurous activity near Cardiff

What’s more, Challenge Wales has not just been attracting people to Wales but has been flying the Welsh flag promoting Wales at the numerous events she has been part of this year on the South Coast of England, France, Belgium, Spain, Portugal and Wales itself.

But there is still time to #FindYourEpic and have a last adventure in 2016 as Wales’ Tall Ship adventures out into the Bristol Channel one last time in 2016 for a sailing voyage on Tuesday 27th December 2016. This voyage is suitable for those aged 16 – 75 and lasts just one day but is ideal to find your inner adventurer, try something new, do something different and experience one of the many Welsh adventures Wales holds – whether on your own, or with friends. And, with no sailing experience necessary to take part it is an adventure for all abilities. Challenge Wales is looking for 10 adventurers to jump aboard – could it be you?!

Challenge Wales sailing in the Bristol Channel

Have your own adventure on Challenge Wales

 


 

Voyages on Challenge Wales are suited for particular age groups but the last voyage of 2016 on Bank Holiday Tuesday 27th December is suited for those aged 16 – 75 years. The voyage is suited for those with no experience who are wanting to try something new to those with significant sailing experience who are wanting to experience an ex-round the world racing yacht. The cost is £99 per person which includes; a day on the water, training, waterproof trousers and jackets, life jackets, refreshments throughout the day, curry meal, fun, excitement and adventure! www.challengewales.org All profits go to the Challenge Wales charity which works with young people to improve their employment prospects through a sail training programme.

 

Posted in Festivals and Events, Fundraising, Sailing, Wales | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Celebrating Volunteers

Where did the year go, and what a year it has been for Challenge Wales | Wales Tall Ship!

Without it’s volunteers, the Challenge Wales sail training charity wouldn’t be the charity it is today and wouldn’t have been able to deliver the life-changing experiences it gives to young people.

To say thank you to our amazing volunteers we held a festive Volunteers Evening on 1st December 2016 in…..Santa’s Post Office, Mermaid Quay, Cardiff Bay.  Well, where else would you host a festive celebration event!

santas-post-officeIt was an opportunity for volunteers to meet each other, for new volunteers to speak to our long term volunteers and for volunteers to meet the Challenge Wales Trustees and shore-side team.

santas-post-office-fireplaceAppreciating, and recognising, the value of volunteers’ contributions is really important to the Trustees of Challenge Wales – and this event was one way of doing that.  Amazingly, Challenge Wales volunteers had donated almost 14,000 hours of their time to the charity in 2016 alone – a huge achievement in itself.

challenge-wales-final-group

Thank you to our volunteers and supporters and here’s to an even better 2017.

And now that Christmas is truly on the horizon it is time for the Challenge Wales Trustees to write their Christmas list to Santa and hope he brings some new equipment and funding to help us reach even more young people next year!

Interested in joining us for our festive voyage on 27th December – ‘Yule’ find more information here: http://wp.me/p10gm1-bE


For further details on Santa’s Post Office in Cardiff Bay and how to visit it click here. Challenge Wales is looking for additional sailing volunteers to add to its current volunteer base for its 2017 voyages. You can find out more about volunteering here.

Posted in Festivals and Events, Volunteering | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Looking for an unusual Christmas Gift – Yule love this…

Christmas is now on the horizon…well-known stores have launched their emotional and expensive TV adverts to draw us in and get us commenting on social media, Christmas movies dominate some of the movie channels and with that famous red truck of the well-known soft drink making guest appearances around the UK you definitely know the “holidays are coming”.

But having made it through Christmases year after year it can sometimes be difficult to find the perfect gift for that special friend or relative.  Christmas disappears as quickly as it arrived, Auld Lang syne is sung and then it’s back to the usual day to day activities for the next year.

christmas-challenge-wales-2015

But have you thought about doing something different this year and give a gift that is not only going to be different, exhilarating and fun but will keep on giving well into 2017?

This year on Tuesday 27th December 2016, Challenge Wales | Wales’ Tall Ship will be hoisting the sails and heading out to sea in the Bristol Channel off Penarth for its FUNdraising Sail and Curry voyage.  No sailing experience is necessary to take part and this is a fun way to give to a local Welsh charity while blowing away the Christmas cobwebs and having loads of fun. A full day of sailing and a curry meal, it’s certainly a gift with a difference!

Everyone purchasing a place on this adult day voyage will be contributing to the Challenge Wales bursary fund, a fund which helps fund Welsh residents aged 12 – 25 years to learn employability skills through sailing. So by joining Challenge Wales on one of her big boat sailing days you will also be giving a life-changing experience to others in 2017.

And, what’s more the Challenge Wales sail training charity has found that often those who sail onboard on one of her adult fundraising trips come back as a volunteer to jump aboard on one of her many life-changing sailing adventures.

Whether on your own, with your partner or a small group of friends or colleagues – come and join Challenge Wales! And of course,  Gift vouchers are available too. Further details can be found on the sailing page of www.challengewales.org or by emailing reservations@challengewales.org or telephone 029 20 704 657.


Waterproof jackets & trousers and lifejackets provided, as well as all food and refreshments during the day and training. A curry meal is only served on Bank Holiday 27th December 2016. Maximum age 75 years. A maximum of 12 places are available. Cost is £99 per person for the day.

Posted in Fundraising, Sailing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

From Wales to the other side of the world

Opening up a door of possibilities can actually mean opening up a world of possibilities.

Often you need to have the motivation to find that opportunity and, when an opportunity then passes by, have the enthusiasm to jump at it. For some people it is more difficult to find that motivation spark to ignite the hunt for a passing by opportunity. And, how do you know that opportunity (and the experience that it brings) is going to change you, or leave a footprint with you, for the better?

Sail training  helps people of all ages to develop their self-confidence (and not to mention teamwork, communication, resilience skills and more!) and once you have jumped aboard a sail training vessel then it can help provide the lighter paper so when a spark happens a world of possibilities can ignite. And, that is just what happened to someone who stepped aboard Challenge Wales – with no sailing experience – who then got to experience new countries and now there is an opportunity for others to do the same as part of a free International Exchange programme co-ordinated through ASTO the UK Association of Sail Training Organisations.

challenge-wales-australia-scholorship

Shannon’s Journey – From Cardiff Bay to Australia

Shannon, who decided to undertake a voyage on Challenge Wales in 2014, applied in 2015 for an Australian Tall Ship exchange and this gave her the confidence to start a career in sailing – something she had never thought about. Since applying for the exchange she has graduated from university, sailed on an Australian Tall Ship, completed a four month sailing course, became a crew member on yachts overseas, started skippering and became a sailing instructor working with other young people teaching them life skills, sailing and getting them to experience new places…and opening other doors of opportunity.  Now back in the UK, she spends time working with young people and planning the next adventure. But this all started with a voyage on Challenge Wales and an application to the UK Sail Training Association, which she says herself, didn’t think would be successful!

It’s not the sailing but the experience that has been life-changing; giving the opportunity to travel, meet new people and develop skills and confidence you never knew you had.

What’s stopping you broadening your horizons?

asto-international-exchange-challenge-wales


Challenge Wales offers a variety of sail training voyages, many of which are subsidised for young people aged 12 – 25 years. A young person who has sailed on Challenge Wales over the last 2 years, and is over 18, may be eligible to apply for a sail training International Exchange. For further details please visit the Association of Sail Training Organisations (ASTO) website here.

 

 

Posted in Sail Training, Sailing, Tall Ships, Young people | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

We’ve had a right royal time….Ahoy HRH Prince Edward

It’s not everyday you expect to have a member of the royal family don lifejacket and deck shoes and jump aboard Challenge Wales. But as part of a Royal UK Tour to celebrate the Diamond Anniversary of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE) that is exactly what happened!

On a damp day in Cardiff Bay,  HRH Prince Edward The Earl of Wessex, was introduced to some of the Challenge Wales volunteers and Trustees before being introduced to some of the young people who had worked with Challenge Wales on one of the DofE Award elements.

Trainees and volunteers lining up ready to welcome HRH Prince Edward, with Challenge Wales in the background

Trainees and volunteers lining up ready to welcome HRH Prince Edward, with Challenge Wales in the background

Challenge Wales has been an Approved Activity Provider for the DofE for the last few years and has welcomed many young people for their Gold Residential. If you aren’t aware of the DofE scheme it’s an opportunity for young people aged under 24 years to learn new skills, take part in volunteering, undertake physical activity, go on an expedition and for the Gold award, there is an extra element of a residential activity – meeting new people, experiencing new things, working as a team which must be away from home and for a minimum of 5 days. So, for Residential DofE activities, Challenge Wales fits the bill perfectly.

After the introductions and formalities were over, HRH was accompanied to Challenge Wales by some of our trainees…but of course not before he had spoken to some of the parents and family members who were providing moral support to those about to board Challenge Wales.

Two of the Challenge Wales trainees accompany HRH Prince Edward to Challenge Wales (photo by R Batten)

Two of the Challenge Wales trainees accompany HRH Prince Edward to Challenge Wales (photo by R Batten)

After the safety briefing onboard, Challenge Wales released her lines and motor sailed across Cardiff Bay. As Challenge Wales got nearer to her destination; Cardiff White Water centre, the mist seemed to lift. The young people showed HRH the ropes, hanking on a sail, working the snake pit, winching and helming before the voyage ended.

Challenge Wales motoring past the St Davids Hotel, Cardiff Bay

Challenge Wales motoring past the St David’s Hotel, Cardiff Bay (photo by M Horwood)

It was certainly a day to remember for those involved in this special Royal voyage.  We understand HRH had himself done sailing as part of his DofE when he was younger….no wonder he blends in well as one of the crew in the picture below!

HRH Prince Edward onboard Challenge Wales, before departing for the rest of his Royal visit in Cardiff

HRH Prince Edward onboard Challenge Wales, before departing for the rest of his Royal visit in Cardiff

Not only was it great to have a special visitor onboard Challenge Wales but it was fantastic to see how some of our young people had developed since undertaking their DofE with us. Just one of the many journeys that Challenge Wales helps young people with!

A royal wave from trainees and volunteers

A royal wave from trainees and volunteers


Challenge Wales is ideal for DofE Gold Residential providing a variety of voyages in 2017 that will suit the requirements of the award. For more information visit www.challengewales.org For more information on the DofE visit www.dofe.org

Posted in Sailing, Young people | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Challenge Wales set to return to Cardiff Bay

After being away for over 60 days, and having sailed almost 4,000 miles on her most epic young persons adventure yet, Challenge Wales | Wales’ Tall Ship is set to return to her home port of Penarth / Cardiff Bay on Saturday 27th August, just in time for being the feature boat at the Cardiff Harbour Festival.

Challenge Wales moored in Mermaid Quay on display

Challenge Wales moored in Mermaid Quay on display

In her previous life, Challenge Wales had sailed the oceans and had many exciting adventures as she sailed around the world, twice. Now, her activity is focused on young people and youth work  mainly around Wales as Wales’ Tall Ship and sail training vessel but this summer saw her going the furthest she has ever gone as Challenge Wales to Southern Spain for Tall Ships racing with other young people from all over the world.

Tall Ships spectacle

Tall Ships spectacle – Challenge Wales is there and in these events is one of the smallest boats taking part

During her summer adventures, Challenge Wales visited Southern Spain, Portugal, Northern Spain and Belgium. Young people onboard got to experience the magic of dolphins swimming with the boat, seeing whales, racing against the spectacular Tall Ships and meeting young people from all over the world.  After each Tall Ships Race all the crews from the boats paraded through the streets of the host port, representing their countries and we were certainly proud to represent Wales in what is one of the largest events in Europe.

Representing Wales in the Tall Ships Races

If you want to take part in our 2017 adventures, our fundraising adult voyages, fancy being a volunteer crew person or just want to see how up to 18 people have lived onboard Challenge Wales during the summer then jump aboard at the Cardiff Harbour Festival for a free tour.


The Cardiff Harbour Festival is Sunday 28th August and Monday 29th August 2016. Free tours are being offered by Challenge Wales volunteers from 11am each day where people of all ages can jump aboard.  If you want to wave Challenge Wales back into Cardiff and want to check when Challenge Wales is returning to Penarth/Cardiff visit www.marinetraffic.com and do a vessel search for Challenge Wales. She is trackable while she is close to land but may lose signal temporarily as she crosses from the English to the Welsh coast.

 

Posted in Festivals and Events, Sailing, Tall Ships, Young people | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Celebrating International Youth Day

Challenge Wales is always up for celebrating an event or a moment in time.

Celebrating the huge commitment our volunteers give and recognising this in Volunteers Week. Celebrating St David’s Day, the Patron Saint of Wales, celebrating with young people after every voyage. Celebrating Youth Work Week and making sure people know about the work that we do to help young people broaden their horizons and improve their employment prospects.

Representing Wales in the Tall Ships Races (Northern Spain)

Representing Wales in the Tall Ships Races (Northern Spain)

We celebrated the Queen’s Jubilee Pageant in 2012 in London, and the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014 by being part of the Commonwealth Games Flotilla up the Clyde. But, it wasn’t until recently we were aware of International Youth Day and Challenge Wales couldn’t get more international than where she was and what she was doing on that day.

So when is International Youth Day we hear you say? As we found out, International Youth Day is marked on 12th August every year.

As stated on the United Nations website; “On 17 December 1999, in its resolution 54/120, the United Nations General Assembly endorsed the recommendation made by the World Conference of Ministers Responsible for Youth (Lisbon, 8-12 August 1998) that 12 August be declared International Youth Day.”

So where was Challenge Wales on 12th August 2016, on International Youth Day? Challenge Wales was in A Coruna (Northern Spain) as part of the Tall Ships Races. The Tall Ships Races is one of the most spectacular youth events in Europe with, on this occasion, no fewer than 16 flag states represented. It gives the opportunity for young people all over the world to take part in sail training. On one vessel there were no fewer than 13 different nationalities. Tall Ships Racing is cross cultural and with at least 50% of trainees on each boat having to be aged under 26 years it is a fantastic opportunity for young people to experience something that is life-changing, share stories and make friends.

Young people from all over the world partying and spending time together at the Tall Ships Races amongst the backdrop of....Tall Ships

Young people from all over the world partying and spending time together in A Coruna at the Tall Ships Races amongst the backdrop of….Tall Ships

Challenge Wales was there representing Wales, and proudly flying the Welsh flag. We joined young people from all over the world in a parade around the streets of A Coruna, took part in inter-crew sports shore-side. Celebrating culture. Celebrating young people. Celebrating sail training. What better way to be a global citizen!

And, on that international note, when Challenge Wales departed A Coruna no fewer than 5 different languages were able to be spoken onboard!


 

Posted in Festivals and Events, Sailing, Tall Ships, Young people | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment