Nelson’s Coastal Watersports Trust will encourage people of all ages to try going afloat off the Norfolk coast
- Credit: Nelson's Coastal Watersports Trust
A charity which hopes to give people of all ages and abilities the chance to enjoy watersports has been launched on the north Norfolk coast.
Nelson's Coastal Watersports Trust has the triple world champion and four times paralympic sailor Hannah Stodel as its patron.
It was originally intended to promote sailing and other watersports to give young people and their families the opportunity to go afloat.
But chair Sandra Squire told guests at today's launch at Burnham Overy Staithe, near Wells, that after a 7am board meeting beside the harbour, it had been decided to expand its scope to cover people of all ages and abilities.
'I love sailing, I love watersports, I love encouraging other people to do them,' she said.
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She added the idea for the trust came about when she began planning a single-handed sail around Britain.
'I went looking for a charity that got young people into watersports that covered the whole of East Anglia and guess what - I couldn't find one,' she said.
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'We now want to encourage everybody no matter what their age to enjoy the water.' The trust hopes to get more people out on the water, to experience the health and social benefits that water sports can provide, while promoting the water sports related businesses and charities that exist around the coastline.
Mrs Squire said: 'Nelson's is an exciting new venture that brings together the passion for the water and wealth of experience that our directors and patron have, with the support of many local people and businesses, to enable more people to be able to enjoy the benefits of water based activities.'
Miss Stodel said: 'To have something like this locally is fantastic. Let's hope it can do big things in the future.'
Guests at the launch enjoyed rowing and kayaks in the harbour at high tide, before a breakfast at the Boathouse beside the harbour.
They included West Norfolk Mayor Carol Bower and North Norfolk District Council leader Tom Fiztpatrick.
The other directors of Nelson's Coastal Watersports Trust Angie Fitch-Tillett, Julian Kirk and Jacqueline Westrop, all of whom are keen watersports enthusiasts. They decided to set the group up just a month ago.
For more information on the trust, click here.