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Andrew Simpson foundation launched to encourage youngsters to sail
3:00pm Tuesday 10th September 2013 in News
FRIENDS and family of Olympic gold medallist Andrew Simpson have launched a foundation in his name to encourage youngsters to take up sailing.
Founded by his wife Leah, former teammate Iain Percy and Sir Ben Ainslie, the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation will encourage youngsters into the sport.
It was officially launched at a fundraising event celebrating Mr Simpson’s life in San Francisco on Sunday, hosted by Sir Ben and other sailing stars.
Mr Simpson, 36, known as ‘Bart’, won gold and silver at the Beijing and London Olympics.
He died in an accident in May while training for the America’s Cup off San Francisco, leaving behind his wife Leah and their two boys, Freddie, three, and nine-month-old Hamish, who live in Sherborne.
Sir Ben said: “The foundation aims to help young sailors who have a bit of talent, and who would like to take their sailing career further, whether as a sailor, boat builder, sailmaker, or just something in the sailing industry.
“If we can help just one young person do that it will be a massive achievement, but of course we want to help as many young people into the sport of sailing as possible and that is our goal.”
The foundation will encourage children to visit their local sailing clubs and try the sport by providing equipment and coaching.
Through a mentoring programme the youngsters will get the chance to compete at major international events as members of the ‘Bart’ squad.
Starting with a test close to Sherborne, the programme will grow to other areas of the UK and worldwide.
To find out more, visit andrewsimpsonsailing.org.
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