• Team OTC

The OTC Opens Doors: Lily Young

With our series of interviews, called ‘The OTC Opens Doors’, we wanted to demonstrate to other young people the power of getting involved with the OTC as a youngster and the inspiring effect this can have on the path of their life.


Why does The OTC play a vital part in the pathway to success for so many of its youngsters past and present? The OTC has a proven recipe for success, channelling a young persons enthusiasm in the right direction and sowing the seed for a positive impact. The OTC pathway for Lily Young started in her teenage years. She took this determination and passion further into her chosen career as a professional athlete. All of the windsurfers we have interviewed share something in common, a drive to succeed and a bright future.


The OTC springboard to success is something we are very proud of, a legacy that reflects the ethos we promote. The importance of grass roots windsurfing and the positive impact this has on the young people. We truly believe in the power of self-empowering young people to believe in their own ability.


When a youngster starts their windsurfing journey with us, their pathway can often lead to life changing opportunities. In our series of interviews ‘The OTC Opens Doors’, we chat to a group of inspirational OTC alumni, who grabbed all the opportunities thrown at them with both hands and used this to determine their future.


Today we speak to former OTC Team 15 windsurfer, Lily Young, now a professional athlete, she used everything she learnt as a youngster with The OTC to fulfil her Olympic dream.

We asked Lily how it all started for her? She said, “In 2013 I had some windsurfing lessons with my Dad and then joined Team 15 with Tris at The OTC. Aged 14, I started free sailing and then did an interclub championship with Tris and our group from The OTC. After this, I did some UK slalom events, but I really missed competitive racing, so at the end of 2014 I bought a RSX setup and continued to sail that for five years. In that period I joined the British Sailing Team Youth Squad and then eventually the British Sailing Team.”

Lily is currently taking part in an Olympic campaign in Formula Kite. Lily added, “I had a lot of support from The OTC, there was a group of four of us; myself, Lily Thomas, Scotty Stallman and Sam Anstey. Tris used to lend us kit - if we helped him out in return. We also had a lot of support form The Will Mackaness Trust; we used to do charity events for them to raise money, such as 'Windsurfing from Dawn till Dusk' and windsurfing from 'The OTC to Durdle Door'. My parents also support me with helping to fund the kit.”


Lily commented, “Through The OTC I have met so many people, most of them lifelong friends. The OTC opened so many doors for me and allowed me to peruse my dream of going to the Olympics and being a professional athlete.”


“Tris and the team were like family to our group and we spent almost every day in the summer together either windsurfing, SUPing or swimming. It’s a great place to learn to windsurf - with many avenues you can later go down.”


“It’s a safe environment and the instruction and help from Tris and the team is amazing. It gave me a whole new group of friends and eventually gave me my dream job in the future of being a professional athlete - which wouldn’t have happened without starting out at Team 15 at The OTC.”


“The key was always to take the opportunities that were given. I ended up getting qualifications through working at The OTC, which helped me get coaching jobs in the future working with youth racing teams.”


“The involvement of The OTC was everything in my windsurfing, the coaching I got from Tris, the team and older riders from the centre allowed me to transition to the RSX race scene. Even though I had only been windsurfing for a short period of time, because my skills that I learnt were of a higher level.”

“Teaching me what kit to use and lending it to me through Team 15 allowed my windsurf skills to improve at such a fast rate. The OTC has all equipment from beginner to wave to freestyle to slalom, meaning I was always able to challenge myself and learn new skills.”


“The OTC was one of the biggest factors in my fast-track learning. The OTC was always there to help me improve and have a good time.”

“Through The OTC I have met so many people, most of them lifelong friends. The OTC opened so many doors for me and allowed me to peruse my dream of going to the Olympics and being a professional athlete.”

“The coaching was amazing, the team were all such good windsurfers, they could show you the moves and even if you were just out free sailing they would always be watching and giving you tips, because we were always looking to learn.”


To find out more how your youngster can get involved in our grassroots windsurfing, please contact the centre on (01305) 230296 or email info@otc-windsurf.com

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 The Official Test Centre is a watersports school, retailer and test centre located right on the water’s edge, within the grounds of the National Sailing Academy on Portland, Dorset.

 

Due to our location, we are in the perfect place to get out on the latest kit and give it a go. On this blog we share our thoughts with you. And having tested for magazines for over two decades, we love to put the kit through its paces.