Challenge Wales can bring some fantastic opportunities to young people and one young person who sailed on Challenge Wales last year has gone on to win an exchange scholarship to experience sail training the other side of the world in Australia thanks to ASTO, the Association of Sail Training Organisations.
Shannon Salisbury (aged 24) from Cardiff first stepped aboard Challenge Wales in June last year sailing from Penarth to the South Coast. She then came back onboard Challenge Wales for the Tall Ships Regatta in September and a Small Ships Race in October helped through the Challenge Wales bursary scheme which subsidised all her voyages.
So what did Shannon think about Challenge Wales? “Through sailing on Challenge Wales I learnt a lot about what sail training is about, the benefit it has on young people and it also helped me develop myself. When I came onboard Challenge Wales I was nervous and didn’t know anyone but as soon as we set off my confidence grew and I felt a valuable member of the team. I learnt that people from different backgrounds can successfully work together”
Having sailed on Challenge Wales – Wales’ Tall Ship, was one of the criteria to applying for the exchange and experiencing sail training the other side of the world, in a different culture and onboard a square rigged tall ship appealed to Shannon.
The scholarship which Shannon has been awarded is jointly funded by ASTO and the Australia Britain Society and just one place was available on this annual exchange. Lucy Gross, General Manager of ASTO said: “Shannon impressed the selection panel with her mature attitude, her thirst for adventure and willingness to get stuck in. It is clear that sail training has had a positive impact on her outlook on life and we felt she would benefit personally from the exchange”.
The scholarship will fund Shannon to and from Australia and to take part in two consecutive 10 day voyages on a tall ship this summer. The return ticket back to the UK is open allowing Shannon to extend her visit and travel.
What’s amazing about this opportunity is that if Shannon hadn’t sailed on Challenge Wales she wouldn’t be heading to Australia this summer.
ASTO will be launching their next exchange programme at the end of 2015 and all young people who have undertaken sail training on Challenge Wales over the past 2 years, and this year, are eligible to apply, so could it be you heading to Australia next year for a truly life-changing experience?
The Challenge Wales Bursary Scheme enables young people aged 12 – 25 years to have their sailing voyages, on Challenge Wales, subsidised and with a range of voyages this summer from one day to seven day now’s the chance to get involved. If you would like to join Challenge Wales or find out more then visit www.challengewales.org or call 029 20 220 266.