ISCA students with kitesurfing trainer and student Dominic McBride Wilson

University student inspires next generation of kitesurfers

An undergraduate at the University of Exeter is using his passion for kitesurfing to help local teenagers and open up the sport to a younger generation. 

Dominic McBride Wilson, a second year Economics student, was awarded £1,000 under a scheme set up by Floella Benjamin, the University’s chancellor, to boost student employability.

He has used the award to help set up “The Kite Project”, an initiative providing free kitesurfing lessons to local schoolchildren. A first batch of 12 teenagers from ISCA College of Media Arts, an Exeter-based secondary school, began their training at Exmouth in March.

“The simple concept behind this project is to teach teenagers to kitesurf by providing lessons free of charge. The high cost of lessons and equipment limits a wider access into the sport, especially amongst the younger generation,” says Dominic.

Amongst other things, Dominic, who is one of the project’s two instructors, has found sponsors to provide equipment and kites free of cost. Edge Watersports, the Exmouth-based kitesurfing school, is supplying equipment , from wetsuits to harnesses and safety gear, while Flexifoil, the kite manufacturer, is providing kites and boards.

“Thanks so much to The Kite Project for the kitesurfing lessons! I enjoyed it so much and can't wait to get out and do it again. It was a really good chance to get kids into new sports," says Joe Tyler, 17, a year 11 ISCA student.

This year’s other Floella Benjamin award-winners include a project to provide free meals to school children in Kenya and girls’ football coaching in Ghana.

Date: 26 May 2011

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