On Friday August 5th, Mayor of Waterford City and County Cllr. John O’Leary welcomed some of the participants of Sail Training Ireland’s 2022 Waterford Bursary Scheme to City Hall for a presentation of certificates.
The Waterford Bursary Scheme was established by Sail Training Ireland in 2016 in partnership with Port of Waterford, and Waterford City and County Council. The scheme provides access to the life changing experience of a Sail Training voyage for people aged 14 and above from Waterford and the surrounding regions. One of the ships which was used as a training vessel during the scheme, the Brian Boru, made a welcome return to its former home port on Friday when participants of the training programme docked after their time at sea.
Mayor O’Leary said, “I am pleased to welcome Sail Training Ireland here today to the historic Mayor’s Parlour for the certificate presentation for the 2022 Sail Training Ireland Waterford Bursary Scheme. This experience provides an excellent environment for personal and social development. It is not so much learning to sail as learning from sailing, the vessel, the sea and most importantly from yourself and others. I would like to thank all those involved particularly the sponsors Port of Waterford, and Waterford City & County Council. I also wish Sail Training Ireland and the Waterford Bursary scheme all the very best for the future.”
Daragh Sheridan, CEO of Sail Training Ireland added, “We are delighted to be honouring the achievements of the 22 amazing young people who make up the 2022 Sail Training Ireland Waterford Voyages. This is always a special moment for the trainees, who have returned from a short but intensive experience at sea with a changed view of life, a greater sense of purpose and a new perspective on their own capabilities. This opportunity would not be possible without the fantastic support of Port of Waterford and Waterford City and County Council.”
After the sinking of Asgard II in the Bay of Biscay, off the coast of France, on September 11th 2008, the Coiste an Asgard disbanded but many memories and fond affections remained towards the vessel. And so, it was upon this spirit that Sail Training Ireland was formed in February 2011 as a not-for-profit company by former members of the Coiste an Asgard.
Under the guidance of the professional crew and youth leaders, trainees from different backgrounds and abilities are involved in operating every part of the vessel during voyages that generally last from 5 to 15 days and on vessels that may have from 10 to 50 or more people on board. Trainees take part in sailing voyages at sea on tall ships and large yachts during which they become part of the working crew.
Alongside the Mayor presenting were Daragh Sheridan, CEO of Sail Training Ireland, and Seamus McLoughlin, Chairman and one of the founders of Sail Training Ireland. Also in attendance were Grace O’Sullivan MEP, Cllr. Eddie Mulligan, Lieutenant Commander Jamie Cotter of the Irish Naval Service, and Frank Ronan of the Port of Waterford.