Instructor Training Programme
The Kintyre Seasports Instructor Training Programme is run in partnership with Campbeltown Grammar School. It offers S2 pupils the chance to get afloat and try out sailing, before moving on to learning more and progressing towards sailing instructor qualifications. The first cohort to take part in the programme began in late spring 2022.
33 pupils attend a taster session, mostly during the spring term. All but one taster session took place afloat, with participants in pairs in Laser Pico dinghies. Sessions began with an introduction to the boats, then getting afloat and learning to steer and balance the boats by playing games or a water fight while paddling. Once the pupils had got the hang of handling the boats, we went for a sail, generally with the pupils sailing downwind and being towed back to the beach. The sessions ended with some more games, then the chance to get in the water, through learning how to deal with a capsized dinghy or jumping from the safety boat and swimming to shore. One taster session during the autumn term took place ashore due to windy weather. In this session the pupils took part in a scrapheap challenge, building their own boats, learning how they work and competing against each other in a range of challenges.
S2 Pupils attended a taster session
of Campbeltown Grammar School S2 year group
took part in a one week basic sailing skills course, with 13 gaining RYA
Level 1 or 2
14 participants then went on to take part in a week of sailing skills training, where they got to grips with sailing a dinghy in the loch, through a mixture of exercises, games, and theory. The training followed the RYA National Sailing Scheme, and the participants all received an RYA logbook showing the skills and knowledge they had acquired. The participants now have the skills needed to take a dinghy out themselves, in good weather and with safety cover. They also discovered how a boat works, and other useful nautical skills such as chartwork and understanding weather forecasts.
The week also works on participants’ soft skills, such as communication and teamwork, as well as individual resilience when we let them out on their own in a boat and it doesn't always go to plan. Another key skill that the programme develops is dynamic risk assessment, which participants develop by being allowed to use their own judgment to assess situations, in a safe and controlled environment.
The participants are keen to do more, and we will build on the week's training over the winter and into next season, improving sailing and nautical skills, giving the chance to learn to drive a powerboat, and progressing towards becoming assistant instructors. We'll also introduce and enthuse participants about the opportunities available to them in maritime fields. Eventually, the participants will have the opportunity to become an RYA Instructor, which offers employment opportunities both close to home and abroad, and shows a fantastic skillsets for participants CV. Finally, another cohort of new S2 students will get the chance to begin the programme during the summer term.
The Instructor Development Programme has been supported by funding from the John Mather Trust, Trinity House, the Argyll and Bute Council Supporting Communities Fund, and the TK Foundation. Without this support we would not have been able to provide the opportunities that we have, or to qualify as a Recognised Training Centre and issue internationally recognised qualifications to participants.