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Rotary Club - Sailing Day!!

posted 17 Jun 2015, 06:44 by Nicky Woolley

Six children aged between 10 and 13 from the Roaches school in Biddulph and The Roaches Lower school at Meerbrook near Leek, recently enjoyed an exciting day of sailing on Stanley reservoir when they visited Stanley Head Outdoor Education Centre, Stanley near Endon. Owned by Stoke-on-Trent City Council the Stanley Head Outdoor Education Centre is set in 30 acres of rich and diverse woodland and sited on the edge of Stanley reservoir. Teaching outdoor education, the Centre delivers a wide range of activities, courses and programmes for young people and adults ranging from out- and- out activity days to the provision of the  National school curriculum requirements.

The day at Stanley Head was organised and sponsored by Rotary Biddulph. At the start of the day the children were shown how to rig a Laser Pico and a Laser Bug boat by Stanley Head chief sailing instructor Jim Graham and helped to fix the mast, dagger board, rudder, tiller and sails on the boats whilst Jim explained the basic design of the boats as he helped the children  to rig them. Taking to the water, initially two children to a boat, the children practised sailing across the wind and the art of turning the boats [tacking] at first, near to the shoreline. As the children's confidence improved the boats ventured further out across the lake to pick up more wind so the children could experience faster sailing and experience a real  sense of being out on the water.

After the event, Head teacher of The Roaches school Matt Wilson said…… ‘we are so grateful to both the Rotary Club and Stanley Head for co-ordinating such a wonderful day. Our children have been overwhelmed by the experience and I can say with absolute confidence that you have provided a unique opportunity for them. Our children have all suffered significant neglect or trauma and activities like this help to undo the past and present a brighter future for them. I would like to extend thanks on behalf of the Roaches school to Rotary Biddulph and to all the team at Stanley Head. What a brilliant resource, we are already planning more links with the Centre.’

From the Rotary perspective, incoming Rotary President Dave Ash, echoed  Mr. Wilson’s  comments and added ‘so successful was the day that Rotary Biddulph hopes to make this an annual collaboration with the Roaches school and Stanley Head. Though, whether the glorious weather can be guaranteed for future years remains to be seen!!’

Centre manager  Adam Geens commented that he felt the day had been a great success and looked forward to a close collaboration with The Roaches in the months ahead, adding that it was always a pleasure to work with a school new to the centre.