Shirley Robertson OBE made history by becoming the first British woman to win two Olympic Gold Medals at consecutive games, Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004. Now, alongside continuing with sailing and international TV broadcasting, she’s come on board as a global supporter of Sail Training International to promote the youth development potential of sail training and the famous international Tall Ship Races.
Ahead of visiting the Tall Ships Races in the Baltic this summer, she recently enjoyed her first Tall Ship experience sailing aboard square rigged Stavros S Niarchos, “From climbing the mast and standing on the yards, to steering the boat – Tall Ship sailing is a fantastic adventure for young people and I'm very excited about my involvement with Sail Training International and the Tall Ship Races this year,” she explained.
“I had never had the opportunity to sail on a Tall Ship before, I’d only ever watched the huge spectacle of the Tall Ships Race from the dock. It’s something I’ve always wanted to try and now I have I would whole-heartedly encourage others to take part.
“I'm passionate about sport and sailing, but sail training isn’t just about boats and oceans; it's about young people from very different backgrounds doing something pretty special together.
"Aside from learning how to sail these amazing vessels, you really learn how powerful going to sea can be. Once you've steered by the moonlight, or been the first to see land from the top of the mast, or worked as a team to do what you thought was impossible - life looks a lot different.
"My advice? Don't think twice, it will change your life."
Shirley continues to sail at all levels, sharing her knowledge and presenting her own international TV programme, Mainsail.
She will be launching the start of The Tall Ships Races in Aarhus, Denmark, 4-8 July 2013.
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For further information contact Sally Titmus, Communications and Marketing Manager, Sail Training International +44 (0)23 9258 6367, mobile +44 (0)7827298733 firstname.lastname@example.org
What is sail training?
Sail Training is an adventure activity, which includes far more than sailing instruction. Participants are required to confront demanding challenges, both physical and emotional. It is an activity that inspires self-confidence and personal responsibility. It promotes an acceptance of others, whatever their social or cultural backgrounds, and develops a willingness to take controlled risks. Those who undertake Sail Training on Tall Ships generally find it a positive life-changing experience.
A two-minute film can be seen here.
About Sail Training International (STI)
STI is the international voice of Sail Training, a registered charity (not-for-profit organisation), which has worldwide membership and activities. Its purpose is the development and education of young people through the Sail Training experience, regardless of nationality, culture, religion, gender or social background. It organises the annual Tall Ship Races and other international Tall Ship sailing events. STI members are 29 national Sail Training organisations around the world and STI’s head office is in Gosport, Hampshire, UK.
The organisation was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize 2007 for its work in promoting international understanding and friendship.