There was wonderful excitement at the Drogheda Port Company HQ last Friday as trainees who participated in the 2023 Drogheda Sail Training Bursary voyages on the Brian Boru were welcomed home by families, friends and sponsors of the scheme. Representatives from Louth County Council, Irish Cement limited, Fast Terminals Ireland, Drogheda Port Company, Sail Training Ireland and Boskalis Irish Dredging were in attendance to present certificates of achievement to the remarkable group of youngsters from Louth and Meath. Two separate voyages were undertaken this year going north to the Antrim coast and visiting many of the ports and loughs in between.
Ms. Nessa Lally of Drogheda Port Company especially welcomed Mr. Bob Kidd from Boskalis Westminster Dredging to Drogheda as a new sponsor to the scheme.
We are delighted to announce Boskalis as a new sponsor of the Drogheda Sail Training Bursary joining the existing long term scheme sponsors. With this support going forward the scheme will grow and intends to offer a number of progression voyages.
— Ms Nessa Lally
Captains Jonny Sedgewick and Peter Scallan who skippered the 2023 Brian Boru voyages spoke of their respective voyages and the wonderous passages they took in glorious weather conditions. Highlights of the voyages included a visit to the RNLI station in Ardglass where trainees were given an educational tour, aswell as the swimming and beach barbeque at Strangford Lough. Both Captains remarked on how eager and capable their groups of teens were throughout the week.
The future of Louth and Meath is in very safe hands if these local youngsters are anything to go by!
— Capt. Peter Scanlon
The event also marked the 10th anniversary of the Drogheda Sail Training Bursary which is a testament to how popular and successful the scheme is. For 10 years it has been providing the unique opportunity of self-development and education through the medium of sail training to young people of Louth and Meath. Sail training is an activity that inspires self-confidence and the acceptance of personal responsibility. It promotes an acceptance of others whatever their social or cultural backgrounds and develops a willingness to take controlled risks. For most who undertake sail training it is a positive life-changing experience. To date the scheme has engaged with secondary schools, colleges youth groups, minority groups, and many charities, to ensure the promotion of inclusion and integrity when offering a bursary for these voyages. As the scheme has grown over the years it has been able to give some past trainees the opportunity of progression voyages on much larger vessels, sailing further away from home with bigger groups of people. Some youngsters who started out on a Drogheda Sail Training Bursary voyage in 2013 and 2014 are now happily working in the navy and other marine relation careers.