Students Host Events in May
The month of May this year saw students on Marine Leisure Management foundation degree at Falmouth Marine School hosting outdoor events all over the County.
Students organised and hosted events in Gwithian beach, Stithians Lake and Gyllyngvase beach in Falmouth as part of the Marine Event Management module on their course - the remit for which is to get people out and active on the water.
On the May Day Bank Holiday the South West Windsurfing Rally, organised and run by Hannah Mason, Seb Wilson and Chloe Werner took place at Stithians Lake. Wanting to share their love of windsurfing they chose to host a Windsurfing Rally. The event had been run for the first time last year as part of National Windsurfing Week by Brett Galloway, who was studying the same course. Fifteen beginners and 14 intermediate/advanced windsurfers took part in the event, which included tuition from experienced volunteer coaches who had been recruited by the students and in fact the students themselves. Tushingham, Starboard and Naish all provided the latest equipment the fun continued into the evening with a BBQ and video/photos of the day's highlights. The individuals and families who attended had a fantastic weekend and were asking for the dates of next year's event to ensure they don't miss it.
On the following Wednesday, Gwithian beach near Hayle saw the second annual South West Student Surf Kayak Championship, organised by Andy Tuck, James Gilpin and Alan Harris. The day was a huge success despite the rain with a huge increase in competitors. Students from across the West Country took part, including students from Truro and Penwith College, University of Plymouth, Penryn College, Mounts Bay School, University of West of England (Bristol) and Falmouth Marine School. The event also attracted some of the UKs top paddlers including, Robin Pearcy, Harry Uren and Emma Wynter (England surf team members). This event has is now developing into a prominent fixture in the British Canoe Union annual calendar with other Universities and colleges wishing to run qualifying events which shows that next year's event should be a large championship style event.
The following weekend on Saturday 9th May saw the first of what will now be an annual event on Gyllyngvase Beach. The Gyllyngvase Beach Biathlon was organised by Howard Jackson. He chose to organise this event to raise money and awareness of the Helford River Children's Sailing Trust and the Helford River Marine Conservation Group. Although not a triathlete himself Howard identified Falmouth and Gylly beach as the perfect location for such an event. The event was a huge success with 24 competitors and is now a permanent fixture on the annual event calendar.
Lastly on Friday 29th May also on Gwithian beach and Stithians Lake, Cornwall College hosted the first ever British Colleges Sports (BCS) National Watersports Championships, which attracted over 100 entries from across the UK, competing across four disciplines: surfing, sailing, windsurfing and kayaking. The event was organised by Ben Hawkes and Nick Tranter on the Marine Leisure Management Foundation Degree. This inaugural event was one of the most complex with multiple disciplines all taking place at the same time with both individual and team awards up for grabs. Again this event was very successful with some of the most exciting windsurf and dinghy racing ever seen at the lake.
Steve Bowens, Course Manager, Marine Leisure foundation degree, Falmouth Marine School said: "I was really pleased with how all the events went. These guys are the ones who will be running our outdoor centres in the near future and it is by getting really involved in the sport at an organisational level that they can develop their skills to be able to market, manage and deliver fantastic opportunities such as this to the public. These events are real, it requires the students to interact within the industry making contacts which will be helpful for the future and there are real risks involved. Planning and running these events gives the students a learning experience which is just not possible in the classroom. The students for each of these events have been gathering feedback from there events to produce a set of recommendations for next year's students so as each of these events can get bigger and better."
Dave Linnell OBE, Principal of Cornwall College commented: "Everyone at Cornwall College was impressed by the efforts of students at Falmouth Marine School this year. It is great to see students organising such events as part of their studies. They learn a great deal from putting these events together and their local community also benefits from their efforts."