The Harbour School in Portsmouth has received a new RS Venture keelboat thanks to funding from Sport England.
The boat will be ideal for giving pupils, including those with special needs, a chance to get out on the water and experience the fun of sailing on a stable and seaworthy boat.
The Venture keelboat, produced by RS Sailing, can take up to eight people, and will be made available to other schools and partner groups to encourage more young people to get involved in sailing.
Lisa Taylor, assistant headteacher of The Harbour School, worked with Nathan Staley from Portsmouth Watersports Centre and Hannah Cockle and Susie Moore from the Royal Yacht Association to submit a small grants bid to Sport England to fund the boat.
Lisa said: ‘We were successful in our bid and were able to buy the Venture keelboat. We are absolutely thrilled.
‘We have asked the children and young people to come up with names for the boat which our outdoor staff will choose.’
The school held the competition last week to name the boat and the result will be announced shortly.
The RS Venture will undertake a sail past, weather permitting, at Tipner in the next few weeks, to proudly show the boat off to the pupils and to staff from the Portsmouth Watersports Centre, where the boat will be stored on behalf of the school.
A sailor from Portsmouth-based Land Rover Ben Ainslie Racing will be coming along to talk to the young learners.
The Harbour School is a special school in Portsmouth which provides learning for children and young people who have a range of social, emotional and mental health needs.
The deck is purpose designed so that crew members can sit securely on inner seats or on wide side decks, to give a range of options – ideal for both nervous beginners and experienced sailors.
The Harbour School is based at Tipner Lane, Portsmouth, PO2 8RA.
For more information visit theharbourschoolportsmouth.org or phone (023) 9266 5664.