Visit Southampton

📰 Scores of city children to take to the water this spring

More than 150 schoolchildren will get the chance to try sailing this spring as the first ever Southampton Sailing Week takes place.

According to research, less than 23 per cent of Southampton residents have been out on the water. Those behind Southampton Sailing Week hope to change that statistic by giving young people the opportunity to dip their toes into the sport of sailing.

A total of six free taster sessions will be held at Southampton Water Activities Centre (SWAC) throughout the week (May 24-29) for schools within the Southampton postcode area. With spaces for 30 children in each group, it means that up to 180 children will have the opportunity to try their hand at the sport this spring.

The scheme has been made possible thanks to a partnership between Park Lives and Active Nation, both of which are supporting the city’s inaugural Sailing Week.

Cllr Darren Paffey, Cabinet Member for Education and Skills at Southampton City Council said: “Southampton is one of the world’s most famous maritime cities, and we’re fortunate to have the Solent on our doorstep. This initiative will help to inspire young people from all walks of life to get out onto the water, encouraging them to be active, ambitious and try new things. There is real excitement building around the city about Southampton Sailing Week, so I encourage all schools to sign up so they can be part of this fantastic experience.”

Chris Rees, organiser of Southampton Sailing Week, added: “It’s such a shame that so few children in Southampton have had a chance to get out onto the water when they live so close to it. Southampton Sailing Week is all about bringing sailing to a new audience so we’re thrilled that our partners have provided this fantastic opportunity for youngsters to try their hand at sailing. Who knows, there may be some future Olympians among them!”

Schools are being encouraged to submit their interest for the free sailing sessions now, as they are expected to fill up quickly. To apply visit

To find out more about Southampton Sailing Week visit and follow on Facebook and Twitter for the latest news.

    • School children SWAC sailing

    School children SWAC sailing