The sailing charity, the Andrew Simpson Foundation, has opening a new watersports facility on the south coast at Portsmouth

The Andrew Simpson Foundation, which helps young people experience sailing, has opened a new centre on the south coast.

The running of the Portsmouth Watersports Centre, which is owned by the city council, has now been transferred to the charity, and has been renamed the Andrew Simpson Watersports Centre – Portsmouth.

It will deliver a full programme of RYA sailing, windsurfing and powerboating courses, a range of paddle sports, outdoor activities and an extensive instructor training programme.

The centre will also fulfil the Andrew Simpson Foundation’s charitable objectives via the delivery of seven flagship community sailing programmes to local disadvantaged young people in Portsmouth.

These programmes aim to help young people learn a variety of practical, personal and life skills that will enable them to deal effectively with the demands and challenges of life.

The centre will operate as a not-for-profit watersports centre with proceeds generated from the teaching of sailing and watersports to the public enabling the foundation to continue improving the lives of disadvantaged young people.

The Andrew Simpson Foundation, which was set up in memory of Olympic and America’s Cup sailor, Andrew ‘Bart’ Simpson, has its main base in Weymouth. Every year, it organises Bart’s Bash, which has now become the biggest sailing event in the world.

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The CEO of the foundation, Richard Percy, said: “We’re hugely grateful for this fantastic opportunity to run the Watersports Centre in Portsmouth. This new facility will allow the Andrew Simpson Foundation to continue to work with young people in the community.”

“We will offer a huge variety of affordable activities with an aim to broaden horizons and improve lives, whilst also delivering world-class watersports tuition for all,” he added.

The Andrew Simpson Watersports Centre will operate throughout the winter months with a variety of courses and programmes on offer, including land-based activities for schools and groups, such as archery and orienteering, and an intensive instructor training course.

The centre will be officially opened in spring 2018.