The Princess Royal has urged young people to get their first taste of boating with UKSA

UKSA saluted its latest generation of youth boating ambassadors today (19 November), with charity patron HRH The Princess Royal urging young people to get involved.

Princess Anne told guests at an event in the City of London that boating is “a global business”, adding that she has seen a rising demand for instructors all across the world.

A keen sailor herself, the Princess Royal explained that a boating education can lead to jobs in exotic places such as Vanuatu, which she recently visited on royal business.

This sentiment was backed up by Pete Tyler, managing director of Neilson Active Holidays, who told MBY that there is strong demand for more boating instructors in Greece and Turkey.

Praising the work of boating charity UKSA, Princess Anne added: “Training is important at whatever level you start. It gives young people an opportunity to help others.”

UKSA runs a variety of programmes and funds, including the Blue Doublet bursary, which was named after Princess Anne’s first yacht.

The UKSA difference

The charity has an impressive track record with helping young people to escape unemployment and the cycle of re-offending.

Whereas 66% of young offenders in the UK go on to break the law again, only 11% of those who have taken a UKSA course end up back in the criminal justice system, and 80% go into work or education.

Richard Thornton, chief executive of UKSA, said that while there is still room for improvement, he is proud of the impact that his charity can have on young lives:

“Some of the young people who come to us have never seen the sea. It’s a positive, life-changing experience.”

Today’s event at Aberdeen Asset Management’s London headquarters was attended by ten of UKSA’s current crop of 30 young ambassadors.

They will spend the next year representing the charity, telling their stories and encouraging others to get involved.

One such ambassador, Sam Shortman, told MBY how UKSA’s support helped him break out of unemployment and become a powerboat instructor.

UKSA works with 9,000 young people per year, offering personal development and RYA-accredited training, from two-day powerboat courses right through to the full yachtmaster course.