Skipper gets top award for work teaching youngsters how to sail

Mark Todd
Mark Todd
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A SKIPPER has been given a top award for his part in training young sailors of the future.

Mark Todd, chief executive of the Gosport-based Ocean Youth Trust South, has been announced as the first winner of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency’s award for sailing training.

Mr Todd was presented with a sextant by Vice Admiral Sir Alan Massey who is the chief executive of the Maritime Coastguard Agency.

Sir Alan said: ‘Mark particularly impressed us with his ability to grasp what it means to be in command and ultimately responsible for everything that happens on board his vessel.’

He said the process of selecting the inaugural award winner had been rigorous and that the MCA had been delighted by the range and quality of the candidates, but that Mark had been the unanimous winner.

Each year the charity gives 500 young people – who are mostly disadvantaged – the chance to sail.

The voyages are designed to develop confidence, teamworking, communication, and new skills.

Mark said: ‘The real value of our work is the effect we have on young people’s lives, and the award brings important recognition from a respected external body for the impact we can make.’