Windsurf Wellbeing Programme


According to the NHS, one in six young people are experiencing a diagnosable mental health issue. Pan Dorset Safeguarding Children’s Board have set out 3 priorities for 2023 to 2025.  Priority 2 is to improve Children’s mental health and emotional wellbeing. There can be long waiting times for mental health support services. This where The OTC stepped in to help support the wellbeing of our local young people. In 2023 we began our Windsurf Wellbeing Programme.  We specialise in working with local children and young people who may need support with social, emotional and mental health difficulties and/or special educational needs.

The young people who we work with follow a six week programme which allows them to not only learn to windsurf but, enjoy improved confidence, better communication skills, higher self esteem, improved resilience, a sense of belonging and feeling calmer.

We feel privileged to use windsurfing as an intervention to help children and young people in our communities.  Our highly qualified team support every aspect of each young persons journey and are always on hand to share their enthusiasm and passion for the sport and the environment that it is taught in.

The OTC are very fortunate to be located right on the waters edge in the grounds of the National Sailing Academy.  This offers our young people safe and direct access into the waters of Portland Harbour. Our Windsurf Wellbeing Programmes embrace the therapeutic effects of being in, on and by the ocean.  We priorities physical and mental wellbeing, building confidence and self-esteem by providing activities to our young people that support a healthy body and mind.


Windsurf Back to School

Our programme is tailored to meet each student’s individual needs. The aim is to develop positive relationships and using the medium of water, enable children and young people to develop confidence, self belief and pride in their achievements. We help students to feel more confident, resilient and ready to learn.

The environment that we are set in inspires students to be curious about their surroundings. The activities that we offer allow students to seek, play and trust. This helps them to improve wellbeing by drawing them out of negative emotional states, fear, panic and rage. Our instructors provide a safe haven for children and young people to express themselves both physically and emotionally.

We follow the RYA (Royal Yachting Association) Training Syllabus Youth Windsurfing Scheme.  This focuses on confidence, teamwork, communication, determination, creativity and independence.

It is our aim that every student attending our program will have the opportunity, if they wish, to gain their RYA Youth Stage 1. This qualification can be gained over approximately 6 hours. However, each session will be tailored to meet the needs of each child and what they wish to achieve each session.

The length of time that we support children and young people is completely flexible, we can work with children for half a school term and beyond.


Weymouth Warriors

The OTC are proud to host Will’s Weymouth Warriors, the Team is a club that meet each week to go on the water and windsurf together.

The emphasis is all about fun and enjoying time on the water together, improving skills, making friends and having a great deal of fun.

Many of the children and young people who have attended our Wellbeing Programme are equipped with the skills to join Team 15.

We are very proud of all Team 15 members and the nurturing and welcoming environment that we have created.


Windsurf For A Fiver

The Chesil Sailing Trust is a Dorset based charity established in 2001 that enables young people to enjoy watersports. With the development of the new Weymouth & Portland National Sailing Academy at Osprey Quay on Portland, the Trust was established with the aim of helping achieve widespread community access to the new world class facilities. In simple terms the Trust was set up to raise and spend the finances that would allow thousands of young or disabled ordinary people to use the new Academy alongside training Olympic & Paralympic athletes and experience the thrill, challenges and achievements of learning to sail and windsurf.

The charity has been running taster courses for young people under their ‘Windsurf and Sail for a Fiver’ scheme since 2003, but in 2013 this scheme received a major boost when Elma Shipley made a very substantial donation of £100,000 in memory of her late husband Rod, who had sadly died in 2012.

Mrs Shipley’s continued generous donations to the Trust enables these programmes to be sustained enabling local children and young people from Weymouth and Portland to access watersports that are on their doorstep.

The Trust works with The OTC who in turn work closely with schools in Weymouth and Portland.  The OTC invite local primary and secondary students to a windsurf taster session for a charge of just £5.

Each year, the OTC introduce six hundred local children and young people to the sport of windsurfing through The Rod Shipley Windsurf for a fiver scheme.  Subsequently, some of them enjoy their session so much they want more.  Several of them continue to learn new skills and continue their windsurfing journey in our Team 15 club sessions.

INVALUable support

Our Partners

Our therapeutic and community work would not be possible without the ongoing support and generous funding from our partners.

These charities make our programmes possible and directly support the children and young people living in Weymouth and Portland. Click on their logos below to discover more about the work of each charity/foundation.

We would like to say a huge thank you to:


Our Impact

The OTC will continue to support the wellbeing of the children and young people of Weymouth and Portland.  In 2023 alone we have supported 670 young people to access water sessions and help improve their health and wellbeing.

To find out more about our programmes and get your school involved, please send an e-mail to :

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