Sir Ben inspires pupils with career lesson

Sir Ben Ainslie patron of 1851 Trust

1851 Trust Patron, Sir Ben Ainslie, delivered an inspiring careers lesson to pupils from Ark Charter Academy, Portsmouth, who were taking part in a Go Sail session, talking about his path from school to where he is now and the journey it took to get there.

Sir Ben, Team Principal and Skipper of Land Rover BAR, the British America’s Cup sailing team and Patron of the 1851 Trust, highlighted the choices he made and encouraged the pupils to follow their dreams before joining a group on a dinghy for a practical sailing lesson!

The day was organised by 1851 Trust in association with Teach First, an education charity which currently works with nine schools in the Portsmouth area, including Ark Charter Academy.

As part of the Go Sail programme, pupils experienced an interactive visit to the Tech Deck and Education Centre at the Land Rover BAR base, tested their own sail designs in the wind tunnel and then heard from Sir Ben, before putting it all into action on the water in a sailing lesson at Portsmouth Watersports Centre.

Research has shown that young people who have regular interactions with employers are less likely to be NEET (not in education, employment or training) when they leave school. Teach First’s Big Class Challenge campaign is addressing this by encouraging a number of high profile volunteers to go into schools to share the experiences, advice and challenges that they have faced and encourage young people to follow their dreams.

Sascha, a Year 10 pupil at Ark Charter Academy described the impact the talk had on her: “Ben’s talk was really, really inspirational because he spoke about starting out and training at a really young age so it made me think I can accomplish more at the age I am now.”

Sir Ben Ainslie commented: “It’s been fantastic to spend time with the students today and see them put their classroom learning into practice. There’s such a diverse range of career opportunities for young people and Teach First’s Big Class Challenge is a great way to inspire and motivate students to aim high and achieve their dreams, regardless of their background. I’m really proud of the impact the 1851 Trust is having both locally and nationally”

James Westhead, Executive Director for Teach First says: “I want to thank Sir Ben Ainslie who has taken part in The Big Class Challenge and taken time out of his busy schedule to inform and inspire pupils. We know at Teach First that interactions with employers can make such a difference to the outlook of young people and hope that this lesson has sparked ideas about a possible future direction for the pupils of Ark Charter Academy.”

Sir Ben with pupils from Teach First partner school Ark Charter Academy

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