Youngsters have been making a splash at free water sports sessions at the seaside.
Fifty young people aged between eight and 14, all children of Cartrefi Conwy housing association tenants, took part in the summer Beach Club scheme at Colwyn Bay Water Sports Centre.
As a result, they were given the chance to try a whole host of different water sports, including wind surfing, paddle boarding, raft building, sailing and beach games.
It was made possible thanks to a grant from Cartrefi Conwy’s Community Chest Fund as well as Warburton’s Bakery Community Fund.
Isabelle Quayle, eight, of Kinmel Bay, said: “I wanted to come and have a try at the different water sports. I’m glad I did it’s much better than watching TV.”
Alfie Thackery, 10, from Llanfairfechan, who goes to Ysgol Pant y Rhedyn said: It’s been amazing. I really enjoyed the paddle boards and the sailing. It’s a great idea and stopped me from playing computer games all day. Instead I’ve had a lot of fun. The wet suits are brilliant and keep you warm.
“Lunch was good too and the beach has just been brilliant. It’s been a fantastic day, one of the best of the school holidays.”
Alfie’s brother Jack Thackery, 11, who also goes to Ysgol Pant y Rhedyn, said: “I love making new friends and I’ve met some really good people today that I’m going to stay friends with even though they aren’t from Llanfairfechan.
“I love being outdoors and at home I’m always out at the park or doing something like playing football. It’s fantastic we have been able to try all these new sports for free.”
Cartrefi Conwy community engagement officer Megan Taylor-Rose said: “The young people, who all live in our properties across the region, have enjoyed having a go at wind surfing, raft building, sailing and beach games. The sessions are free and lunch is provided.
“The idea is to give our young tenants an opportunity to try different outdoor activities and also show them that their local Colwyn Bay beach is such a wonderful asset to the region.
“We know we have so many young people living in the area that rarely, if ever, go to the beach which is a shame.
“This scheme has also given young people who come from Kinmel Bay, Colwyn Bay, Old Colwyn, Llanfairfechan and Llandudno an opportunity to make new friends, gain confidence and prevent anti-social behaviour on the housing estates where they live.
“I’m thrilled the scheme has proved so popular and the partnership with Colwyn Bay Water Sports Centre is working so well. Our young tenants have joined in with their young clients which has given all everyone a chance to forge even more new friendships.”
Colwyn Bay Water Sports Centre director, Taffy Osborne said: “We run Beach Club events throughout the summer. It’s our product and Cartrefi Conwy have partnered with us to provide five days of Beach Club events with 10 spaces available over five days.
“We have given the youngsters an introduction into wind surfing, wind surfing board games, raft building, sailing and a range of beach games. We provide wet suits and buoyancy aids.
“Cartrefi Conwy has provided their young tenants with a free lunch. It’s been great to see all the places filled and these young people having a great time.”
“I’m really delighted to have worked with Cartrefi Conwy to run this scheme which has proved hugely successful and I hope we can work together in the future.”