TEN youngsters have been chosen to take part in a project to spark enthusiasm in maritime industries.
Gosport Marine Scene’s Marine Futures scheme will see the young people learn how to sail keel boats as well as a yacht.
The programme will also give them the chance to work with marine businesses and promote the boating industry.
It will culminate in the 10 teenagers racing in the Small Ships Race from Dartmouth to Gosport in August.
Thirteen-year-old Stefan Bugg, from Alverstoke, said he was really excited to get going.
‘I was hysterical when I found out I got accepted,’ he said.
I was hysterical when I found out I got acceptedStefan Bugg
‘I cannot wait for it to start because we will be doing a range of interesting things.
‘The raft building and residential at Cowes is probably what I am looking forward to most.’
A number of businesses in the area are working with Gosport Marine Scene as part of the project.
The youngsters will spend a day with Gosport and Fareham Inshore Rescue Service (Gafirs) and the search and rescue team at Daedalus as well as UKSA, at Cowes on the Isle of Wight.
Lee-on-the-Solent Sailing Club will teach them how to sail dinghies and they will also spend a day on square-rigged boats which look like miniature pirate ships.
Danni Crutcher, 15, is looking forward to learning how to sail.
She said: ‘I have only ever tried kayaking before so I am really keen to start the sailing part of it.
‘I signed up because it is something different and it will be good getting out and about.’
At the end of the scheme, Gosport Marine Scene hopes the young people will look for jobs in the marine industry.
Member Councillor John Beavis said: ‘Gosport is on its way to being a world-leading hub for the leisure marine sector and the young people of the town are essential to that development.
‘There are exciting career, sport and leisure opportunities springing up around the 24 miles of coastline on the Gosport peninsula.
‘By putting young people at the heart of this event we hope to encourage them to be more involved and proud of Gosport.’