A wave of opportunities are sweeping across the UK thanks to INEOS and their support of Sir Ben Ainslie’s bid to win The America’s Cup.
Youngsters are learning to sail for the first time and teachers are using lessons, learned by the world's most successful Olympic sailor, to inspire a love of science and technology.
And it's all being done with INEOS' blessing and financial backing through the 1851 Trust, the official charity of INEOS Team UK, which will be aiming to become the first British team to win sailing’s most prized trophy for the first time in the competition's 168-year history.
"We’re passionate about getting more young people out sailing who wouldn’t normally have the chance to try it," said Ben.
“And thanks to INEOS' support, we’re able to take our programmes to more young people and make a bigger impact - both in the classroom and on the water.”
The 1851 Trust and the team, who will be vying for victory, are based in Portsmouth, but the Trust’s educational programmes are spreading far and wide.
The STEM Crew’s free online teaching resources, which are sponsored by INEOS, are helping high school teachers to bring science to life.
More than 1,100 secondary schools throughout the UK and overseas are now using those resources to harness the excitement surrounding The America’s Cup to open their students’ eyes to the wide variety of opportunities in science and sport.
With worldwide research showing how young women are regularly shunning careers in science, technology, engineering and maths, The 1851 Trust also runs roadshows specifically aimed at girls.
But the excitement doesn’t end there. The 1851 Trust recently also launched 10-week programmes to give disadvantaged, inner-city youngsters, aged 11 to 16, the chance to sail for the first time.
The INEOS Rebels Crew programme aims to develop the youngsters’ character and resilience as well as a passion for sailing. “Already 1,000 young people are taking part," said Ben Cartledge, CEO of The 1851 Trust.
So far 45 schools have signed up to the programme, which is being rolled out across the UK. The programme runs in partnership with 12 flagship sailing centres, including locations near INEOS sites in Grangemouth, Hull, Runcorn and Seal Sands.
Usman Muhammed, one of the instructors running the sessions in Birmingham, is passionate about INEOS Rebels Crew, having experienced the life-changing benefits of sailing first hand.
“When I was at secondary school, I was very passive during lessons due to my difficult and stressful home life,” he said. “Once I was put in a mandatory after-school sailing club, however, this all changed. I began to gain confidence in myself, which played a pivotal role in my GCSE success.”
And teachers rate the programme too. “It has been a fantastic experience for pupils and they are desperate to get back and give it another go," said Michael O’Donnell, a teacher at Bo’ness Academy in Falkirk, Scotland.
“We’ve seen them develop new skills as well as improving their resilience and their confidence. I cannot thank INEOS enough for all that they have done to provide our young people with such a rewarding experience.”
This year INEOS Rebels Crew will challenge 3,000 children to get active, learn to sail and be inspired by the sport.