Celebrating its 20th Anniversary this year the RNZYS Lion Foundation Youth Training Programme has graduated 335 sailors and many of them are now household names reaching the top of their sport. Kiwi sailors such as Mark CHRISTENSEN, Gavin BRADY, James DAGG, Jeremy LOMAS, David ENDEAN, Carl WILLIAMS, Sharon FERRIS, Amy MULCAHY, Jessica SMYTH, Simon MINOPRIO, Adam MINOPRIO the list goes on and on…..
Wednesday's graduation ceremony at the Squadron and was attended by sponsors, supporters, graduates and their families. Each graduate spoke of the year(s) achievements as well as their future sailing endeavours.
- Graduate of 1 year: Duncan FEELEY, Hamish CROSSAN, Anthony CROSSAN, Piers TYLER, Brendan SANDS
- Graduate of 2 years: Garth ELLINGHAM, Dan JOWETT, Scott MORRISON, Matt HILL
- Graduate of 3 years: Tom BENTHAM, Phil ROBERTSON, David WOOD
Training Committee Member and staunch supporter of the Programme, Ian BOURGEOIS thanked the sponsors, 'Without them this programme would not have been available to these young sailors for the past two decades.'
It has been another fantastic year for the Youth Programme with two recent wins at the Centreport Youth International in Wellington and the Squadron's ISAF Grade 3 Youth International - both helmed by Phil ROBERTSON.
During the year teams were selected to represent the Youth Programme at 12 national and international events with outstanding results.
As the Youth Training Programme heads into its 20th year Coach Guy PILKINGTON is looking forward to a month off before the new intake begins on Sunday 6 May.
'We are very excited about this season, we have 15 members returning for their second or third years and have had 26 youths apply for the 20 positions we have available which is a great start.'
So where are the girls? Samantha OSBORNE is returning to the programme for her third year, Taylor HOLLAND and Hannah MORRIS are returning for their second years and the RNZYS have four girls joining the programme this year!
The naming sponsor for the programme is Lion Foundation. There are nine individual boat sponsors: International Paints, Watts & Hughes, Ports of Auckland, Harken, Pagani, Western Mailing, Soar Printing, CRC, Doyle Sails. The RNZYS are currently looking for a sponsor for Boat 10. If you are interested please contact Karen PARLANE, Sponsorship Manager at the Squadron on 360 6807.