Maritime centre opens in Stokes Bay

A new maritime centre, based at the Gosport and Fareham Trust (GFM) at Stokes Bay, is being backed by Sir Ben Ainslie, and Alex Thomson.

The centre will run initially run a NCFE Level 3 Extended Diploma in Sport and Physical Activity (Outdoors). It’s a post-16 vocational diploma, equivalent to three A-levels and will be run by GFM in partnership with the Andrew Simpson Centres. The first cohort of students is expected in September 2021.

“This incredible course looks to truly inspire and motivate students to aim high and achieve their dream careers in the marine and maritime sector, regardless of their background,” says Sir Ben Ainslie, a founding trustee of the Andrew Simpson Foundation.

“I’m really proud of the impact the Andrew Simpson Foundation is having both locally and nationally, partnering with local educational bodies to achieve this.

“My own path into professional sports was challenging in that there wasn’t a dedicated pathway I could follow or a course that I could take but I was incredibly fortunate to have some amazing people around me that were able to guide me.

“I really hope that young people are inspired to sign up and explore the many future career opportunities within the Portsmouth and Gosport area, an area experiencing a huge growth in the marine and maritime industries, and not to forget an area I’m extremely passionate about being close to home.”

Alex Thomson attended Bay House School and is now a patron of the GFM’s marine and maritime curriculum.

“The facility will offer young people so many of the core skills they need to pursue careers at sea or within the marine and maritime industry,” says Thomson.

“I’d like to congratulate the GFM, as well as the Andrew Simpson Foundation, who have worked tirelessly to get this programme off the ground during such a challenging time. I wish them all the very best of luck with what’s to come.”

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This article was written and/or edited by the UK-based MIN team.

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