The Ocean Watersports Trust held a well-attended open day on the weekend, at which hundreds of young people were able to try sailing, power boating and kayaking for the first time.
The event was held immediately prior to the OWT’s application for lottery funding to develop the Barry Community Water Activity Centre (BWAC) at ‘the Mole’ on the waterfront.
The facility is already well-used by groups such as the Sea Scouts, Sea Cadets and lifeguard clubs. Plans drawn up by the OWT would allow them to open to the public, schools and disabled groups on a year-round basis.
The new building would be an iconic addition to the Waterfront according to OWT member Paul Hayley, with the initial designs including a large rigid ‘sail’ bisecting the middle of the facility as an architectural feature. It would also house a café overlooking the water, open to the public, and potentially attracting more parents to the idea of bringing their children to use the water on a regular basis.
The open day was intended to show the engagement that already exists between the centre and the community, and did not disappoint on fun according to the local MP Alun Cairns.
Mr Cairns, who enjoyed rides on two sailing boats at the event, said, “I had never been sailing before this Saturday and absolutely loved it. I do not doubt that this open day has inspired many youngsters from the town to get involved in boating.”
Speaking on the plans to upgrade the facility, Mr Cairns said, “I have written in support of funding for the facility, which I hope is approved. More funding is however, required to make a start on the project and it would be very helpful if the local authority agreed to underwrite it.
“The expansion has the potential to increase the number of users, building upon already established demand. The modern facilities proposed will allow the centre to become a destination in its own right ad should form a social hub for the general public in the Waterfront area as well as the parents and spouses of water users.”