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Splash the cash and create a wave of change for youngsters!

Are you ready for the tenth Andrew Simpson Centres Open Day tomorrow, jump onboard and smile all day! Have you ever wondered where the money you kindly donate at the Open Day goes? When you generously dig deep every penny goes to making a real difference to young people who really need the opportunity to benefit from the theraputic powers of the sea! Here at The Official Test Centre we are so proud to be involved in the Open Day and we are so grateful to be able to provide young people with those life-changing opportunites with the money raised at this charity event. Splash the cash and create a wave of change for youngsters!

By Emma Nicholson.

open day
make a splash! splash the cash!

Will Mackaness's mum, Pam Govier, created the Will Mackaness Trust to give young people the opportunity to experience the thrill of water activities. Based at one of Will's favourite windsurfing spots, Portland Harbour. The trust has trained hundreds of young people to swim, windsurf and sail since it was established in 2008. Pam Govier said: "We’re really excited about this weekend’s Open Day in aid of the Will Mackaness Trust ! It promises to be a wonderful weekend with so much on offer for everyone to try!"

Wey Valley students enjoying a session at The OTC funded by The Will Mackaness Trust.

The Official Test Centre, Centre Manager, Bryony Webb said: "The weekends aim is to showcase all the amazing watersports we have right here on our door step. We want everyone to come down and enjoy the benefits of being outdoors. With the opportunities to try a new skill in a welcoming, fun and safe environment for all the family to enjoy. Pop in and see us, grab a burger, get your face painted and get on the water!"

Here at The OTC we can't wait to welcome you tomorrow!

The Official Test Centre, Windsurfing Schools Project Manager, Kerry Knight said: "Following a hugely successful year of wellbeing sessions in 2023, our 2024 sessions are back in full swing. We have welcomed so far local children from Atlantic Academy, Conifers Primary School and Bincombe Primary School.

"The children join us each week on their set day to have fun on the water and learn new skills.  We follow a six week programme based around the RYA onboard objectives. As an example, in the past three sessions we have covered confidence, followed by communication and this week we looked at team work.  All of the children try extremely hard to build not only their windsurfing and SUP skills but, to be kind to one another, understanding of each others emotions and build resilience.  

"During the past few sessions, the great British weather has thrown us some cold winds and rain along with some challenging wind directions.  We’ve been blown away by the determination of our children who despite these challenges have just kept on trying their very best.  

"In 2024 we will deliver our wellbeing programme to selected children and young people in all four secondary academies and four primary schools in Weymouth and Portland.  For those who wish to continue their windsurfing journey, we offer the opportunity to join our Team 15 windsurfing club on a Monday after school.  

Of course, none of this would be possible without the kind and generous funding from our  partners; The Will Mackaness Trust, The Will Houghton Foundation and the Chesil Sailing Trust.  

"To support our charities we are donating any funds raised at this weekends open event to The Will Mackaness Trust.  We will also be running the famous Harbour Dash in June in support of the Will Houghton Foundation and future events during the summer will support the Chesil Sailing Trust.  

"If your school would like to become involved in our programmes please send an e-mail to Kerry Knight at

Emma Wilson
Portland Atlantic Academy students meet Olympic star at The OTC while having a wellbeing session.

Nathan Bloss, Andrew Simpson Centre Portland, Centre Manager, said: "The Andrew Simpson Centre Portland are proud to running to be running our Open Day for the tenth year in a row offering the opportunity for everyone within the local community the to get out onto the water. With Sailing, Kayaking and Stand-Up Paddleboarding taster sessions to choose from we look forward to seeing everyone coming down to join us. It's not just on the water activities however, with face painting, a climbing wall, bouncy castle and an inflatable assault course to enjoy as well. The highlight of the day will be the Cardboard Boat Race at 14:00, a truly memorable event for anyone who has it experienced it before.

"Funds raised from the event will go to the Andrew Simpson Foundation to fulfil their aim of transforming lives through sailing by making sailing accessible for all due to both the physical and mental health benefits the sport provides. Each year the Foundation allows thousands of young people to get onto the water through subsidised programmes, working with schools and community leaders to ensure opportunities for all.  

"We are very excited to be working with The OTC, Chesil Sailability, Adventure4all and the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy in delivering a day that will be truly special and one everyone throughout Dorset can look forward to.

"For information on how to get involved with our Open Day and on the work the Andrew Simpson Foundation does, check out our website at

I look forward to seeing you all on the 4th of May."

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