Isle of Wight youth entries

South East England Development Agency introduces schools program for Round the Island Race

Thursday April 14th 2005, Author: Jo Grindley, Location: United Kingdom
Five teams of high school students from the Isle of Wight intend to make their mark, having been given the opportunity to build a team to compete in the 2005 JP Morgan Fleming Round the Island Race, under the watchful eye of double Olympic gold sailing medallist Shirley Robertson OBE.

The teams will not only be sailing the race on 18 June, but will also be coordinating all the pre-event preparations for their team over the coming months. This will include campaign planning, management and logistics along with promoting their team: securing sponsorship, maximising branding, managing a budget and providing still and video images to support the PR and marketing. Specialists in each of the given areas will be bought in to ensure the students have the necessary skills to undertake their roles.

The schools taking part in the project are Carisbrooke High School, Cowes High School, Medina High School, Ryde High School and Sandown High School. Each school has selected students with the key qualities to carry out the four shoreside support roles: marketing, PR and sponsorship, team photographer, support boat driver and team cameraman. In addition, the sailing team will also be assigned roles with responsibilities for: logistics, safety and VHF radio, weather and navigation and an overall team leader.

SEEDA has worked with the Isle of Wight Economic Partnership (IWEP) to put this project together, which falls under their commitment to the nationwide Enterprise Insight ‘Make Your Mark - start talking ideas’ campaign. This project forms part of the IWEP’s aim to raise aspirations and encourage self-belief in students - the future business minds and drivers of the Isle of Wight’s economy.

Double Olympic gold sailing medallist and Isle of Wight resident, Shirley Robertson OBE, will be on hand to offer support, advice and sailing tuition throughout the project.
Shirley commented: “I was thrilled to be asked to get involved in this project, it gives the students a superb opportunity to experience a serious business project, allowing them to see that hard work can be good fun and incredibly rewarding.”

The challenge is already underway at each of the schools. The eight lucky team members aged between 14 and 17 have been chosen, and preparations will begin in earnest on 23 April when the five teams will attend a sponsorship and marketing workshop to help them achieve their first goal of raising £500 sponsorship from local businesses for their individual teams.

Over the coming months they will receive specific training in their individual fields and team members will not only have to work together to ensure their entry is as prepared as possible, but will individually have to demonstrate their own personal enterprise skills to contribute successfully.

SEEDA’s Chief Executive, Pam Alexander, continued: “The innovative and exciting nature of this project highlights SEEDA’s commitment to the ‘Make Your Mark - start talking ideas’ campaign and to inspiring young people. I hope all the ‘Make Your Mark - Round the Island Race’ teams thoroughly enjoy themselves and appreciate that there is more fun and satisfaction to enterprise and running a business than they think!”

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