The most successful Olympic sailor of all time, Team Principal and Skipper of Britain’s America’s Cup Challenger, Sir Ben Ainslie, has joined the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation as Ambassador today.
Sir Ben kicked off his role by inviting a group of youngsters from Laureus-supported Big World Impact project to the new home of Land Rover BAR in Portsmouth. The youngsters, many of whom had never been out on the water before, were given an exclusive sailing lesson from the legend of the sport.
In partnership with The 1851 Trust, which aims to inspire and engage a new generation through sailing and the marine industry, and the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation, the youngsters were able to learn about the technical details of the sport of sailing and given an insight into the teamwork required to succeed in sport.
Following on from their time in the water, Sir Ben gave the youngsters a tour of his team’s brand new hi-tech base, a showcase for sport, innovation, technology and sustainability, before answering questions on his career and what it takes to win four consecutive Olympic Gold Medals. Alongside his team-mates, Sir Ben offered one-to-one advice to the youngsters on setting and achieving goals, and learning life lessons through sport. He reflected on his day inspiring the youngsters:
"Sport has given me so much in my life. The lessons I’ve learnt on oceans around the world have taught me so many life lessons which can be useful both on and off the water. Being competitive in sport requires resilience, focus, determination and most of all, hard work. Days like today are what the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation is all about. Meeting these young people today has been inspirational for me, they’re all fighting their own challenges and I hope they have learnt today that with hard work and resilience, anything is possible.”
Tayah Winslade, 17, was inspired by her day with Ben:
“That was amazing; I’ve never been out on the water, never mind in a boat with an Olympic champion! Ben was so inspirational to us all, I don’t think any of us will forget what we’ve experienced today.”
The event was a resounding success for Julian Wandsworth the Community Engagement Manager at Big World Impact:
“For the young people from Big World Impact, this has truly been a fantastic and quite possibly life changing day. To have the opportunity of meeting and sailing with Sir Ben Ainslie and his team, and to spend quality time getting to know them and understanding what it takes to compete at the highest level is an experience I’m sure they will never forget,” said Julian. “We are extremely grateful to the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation and the Ben Ainslie Racing Team for giving us this opportunity.”