NEW sailing charity boss Peter Cardy has promised a year of exciting opportunities for young people in the area.
He has taken over as chief executive of Sail Training International, the charity behind the famous Tall Ships Races.
Originally from Gosport, Mr Cardy says he is thrilled to be back in the town and wants to bring more sailing opportunities to young people.
He said: ‘I was born and brought up in Gosport and in fact it was the Gosport Ferry that first inspired my passion for sailing.
‘I am absolutely thrilled to be back in the town. It’s a great town – I have always enjoyed coming back here so this is wonderful.
‘We’re hoping for a successful year.
‘There has been so much unemployment and despondency in life for young people – I hope we can show a lot of them that there are great things to be done.’
Before taking up his new post, Mr Cardy was the chief executive of several major charities including Macmillan Cancer Support.
He was also the chief executive of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.
The sailing charity’s chairman Nigel Rowe said: ‘Peter is uniquely well-qualified to manage Sail Training International as our chief executive and help lead the organisation to further success.
‘He is well known to us. He is an experienced sail trainer, and he has considerable expertise in senior management roles in the charity sector.
‘He will make a significant contribution to our work.’
Sail Training International has launched a bursary scheme for young people who want to take part in the Tall Ships Races this year.
Mr Cardy added: ‘The bursary is for people aged between 15 and 25.
‘That age range is important because we want to take these people to sea and let them have this life-changing experience.
‘The number of young people who have been through the training in the Tall Ships Race since the first one in 1956 is staggering.’
The Tall Ships Races will take place during July and August in France, Spain, Portugal and Ireland.
For details of the funding available visit sailtraining international.org/getonboard