Giving more Island children the opportunity to develop their potential & sense of adventure through water-based activities

In 2019, we are delighted to be able to offer an exciting opportunity to 126 Isle of Wight children, who are in year 6 and 7 and are in receipt of free school meals, to participate in a five-day watersports activity programme – ‘Polly’s Challenge’ – during their school holidays.

A group of young students having fun with dinghy sailing at UKSA

Polly’s Challenge was set-up as a follow-on to our year 6 Test the Water Programme and has been made possible thanks to generous funding from the family and friends of Polly Birch and from Children in Need.

Polly’s fund is a special opportunity for Island children

Polly’s Challenge was set up thanks to the family and friends of Polly Birch. Polly was a much-loved vet, sailor, mum, wife, sister, daughter and friend. Above all Polly loved adventure and wanted to encourage other people to go out and experience the world. In its first year, 33 children took part in the initiative and, following that successful pilot, we are delighted to be able to now offer this opportunity to even more deserving Island youngsters in 2019.

Young students having fun on the water on board a yacht

Polly’s Challenge offers participants the opportunity to take part in a five-day sailing or watersports course during their summer holidays. For a small contribution of just £20, these children can enjoy a fun packed week of activities, such as sailing, kayaking, windsurfing and paddleboarding, experience adventure and learn new skills.

We wish to offer these places to Island youngsters who are eager to learn more at UKSA and might not normally have the opportunity, giving them the chance to develop their skills and potential passion for sailing and watersports.

What activities do the children undertake?

Groups taking part cover a whole range of activities including:

  • Kayaking
  • Paddleboarding
  • Dinghy sailing
  • Keelboating, and even a sailing regatta.

How can I get involved?

We will be delivering 8 programmes during the school holidays in 2019, this includes

  • 29th Jul – 2nd Aug: Multi-Activity – 15 participants
  • 29th Jul – 2nd Aug: Multi-Activity- 12 participants
  • 5th– 9th Aug: Multi-Activity– 15 participants
  • 19th – 23rd Aug: Dinghy Start Course – 12 participants
  • 19th – 23rd Aug: Multi-Activity – 15 participants
  • 26th – 30th  Aug: Multi-Activity– 15 participants
  • 26th – 30th Aug: Multi-Activity – 12 participants

Places are available to Isle of Wight children, in year 6 and 7, who are in receipt of free school meals.

A group of young learners experiencing Keelboating at UKSA

If your child is eligible and would like to book on a course, please contact Beth on 01983 301901 or [email protected]. Places will be allocated on a first-come, first served basis, and participants are asked to raise £20 towards the cost of the programme; financial assistance is available if required – further information can be found here: Polly’s Challenge Sponsorship Waiver Policy

How can you make a donation?

If you are interested in making a donation to Polly’s Fund, please visit our JustGiving page.

If you would like to set up a programme in memory of a loved one, please contact Jade or Rosie in our fundraising team on [email protected]