Media release: Calum lives his dream on the high seas

AS a wee boy, Calum Tait dreamed of sailing on the high seas.

And now that dream is about to come true as he’s preparing to sail from Scotland to the Faroe Islands.

Calum, 17, from Milngavie is one of 12 young people from all over Scotland being sponsored by Braehead Shopping Centre to take part in this year’s Ocean Youth Trust Scotland Challenge Voyage.

It’s the third year Braehead has backed the Challenge Voyage, which builds the confidence of young people between 16 and 24, teaching them teamwork skills as well as developing their full potential as leaders of the future.

The young people – who have been selected for the Trust’s Young Leaders Development Programme – depart from Inverness, helping crew the 72-foot sailing ship, Alba Explorer, on August 15.

They sail to The Faroes’ capital Torshavn, explore other islands and go ashore to meet local young people before making the return voyage, reaching Oban on August 25.

And for Douglas Academy pupil, Calum, the journey will be the highlight of his fascination with all things nautical, which began when he was only ten years-old.

Calum explained: “I started being interested in boats from visiting places like Largs and when I went on a boat trip from Arran to the Holy Isle.

“I thought it was so exciting being in a small boat in a lot of sea. From that point I was hooked and just loved boats and the sea.”

Calum then joined the dinghy section of the Clyde Cruising Club, at Bardowie Loch, near Milngavie.

His voyage to the Faroe Islands will be the longest sea journey Calum has ever undertaken, but he’s looking forward to the challenge of sailing on the high seas.

He continued: “I never thought I would ever get the chance to sail all the way to The Faroes. It’s really exciting.

“I’m sure I will make some lifelong friends on the journey and I will learn a lot about teamwork and getting on with people.”

Braehead’s general manager, Peter Beagley said: “The Challenge Voyages give young people a wonderful opportunity to build and develop their character, self-confidence and leadership qualities.”

Ocean Youth Trust Scotland chief executive, Nick Fleming, said: “Without doubt, an offshore voyage like this is tough, but these young people have shown that they have what it takes.

“Our charity really appreciates the support of Braehead which over the last three years, has helped us to train up 36 young leaders.”


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Contact: Norman Macdonald