AN OUTDOOR education teacher at a school in Llandudno has been honoured with an RYA Cymru Wales Impact Award for inspiring pupils to learn sailing skills.

Aled Edwards, chief instructor for outdoor education at St David’s College, was nominated for the awards for his dedication to providing sailing opportunities as part of the school curriculum, as well as fostering connections with local clubs and scout groups.

The Impact Awards were launched in 2024 by the sport’s governing body in Wales to recognise individuals and organisations who go above and beyond to support activities afloat.

North Wales Pioneer: Aled Edwards inspiring the next generation of sailors.Aled Edwards inspiring the next generation of sailors. (Image: St David's College)

Sailing is also offered through extra-curricular activities, including Sunday sailing and a junior dinghy sailing expedition.

Pupils are given the opportunity to obtain RYA sail and powerboat certificates, and Year 13 pupils often leave school with qualifications including powerboat, first aid, VHF radio, sea survival and competent crew certificates.

Many pupils then build on their experience to work in the marine industry, including in dinghy instructing, the Royal Navy, marine navigation, powerboats and crewing, including on tall ships and even a replica Viking longboat sailed from Scotland to Iceland.

In nominating Aled for the award, Ian Martin, head of outdoor education at St David’s College, said: “As well as providing enjoyable and memorable lessons, professional boating qualifications are taught to BTEC pupils and others.


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“The exposure and introductions to sailing have not only boosted the popularity and accessibility of sailing to all pupils, but Aled has also been a key role model to many students, who have gone on to seek careers in the world of sailing.

“As far as I am aware, St David’s College is the only school in Wales providing such a variety of sailing experiences and opportunities, thanks to the standout hard work of Aled and his team.”

Aled, who has been developing sailing and water sports at St David’s College for nearly two decades.

He said: “We put a big emphasis on boating for the sake of boating, and the enjoyment of doing it, as opposed to making it overly competitive or pressurised.

“We do it to nurture a love of being out on the water and so that pupils learn a lifelong skill.

“Not everyone will catch onto that but if we can get as many as possible to enjoy it, that’s great.

“Sailing is brilliant for developing communication and teamwork, problem solving because they’re in charge of their own dinghy, and perseverance as they need to get the boat from here to there.

“Having that independence as captain of their own little vessel is also empowering for lots of pupils.

“You get them on the water and it makes them smile, and the vast majority end up loving it. It’s awesome to be able to pass that on to pupils.”