Sea­s­ports works and is sup­ported by com­mu­nity

Campbeltown Courier - - YOUR VIEWS -

Sir, James F Camp­bell’s ‘pie-in-the-sky’ let­ter of last week is a strange one. It sug­gests that a weary and down­trod­den lo­cal com­mu­nity sees the Kin­tyre Sea­s­ports pro­ject as yet an­other bur­den to be shared – like the highly suc­cess­ful Camp­bel­town Ma­rina devel­op­ment, per­haps. I would not pre­sume to un­der­stand Mr Camp­bell’s mo­ti­va­tion, but a few facts are in or­der. There are 17 Camp­bel­town-based com­mu­nity or­gan­i­sa­tions back­ing the pro­ject, with 10 of them signed up as cor­po­rate mem­bers of the Kin­tyre Sea­s­ports char­ity. Since it was formed in May last year the char­ity has raised al­most £80,000, with con­tri­bu­tions from MACC and the Ro­tary Club of Camp­bel­town, as well as Ar­gyll and Bute Coun­cil and HIE. On Au­gust 4 we held a Com­mu­nity Re­gatta, funded by a Sup­port­ing Com­mu­ni­ties grant by pub­lic vote. Sixty lo­cal vol­un­teers from sev­eral com­mu­nity groups turned out to or­gan­ise fam­ily ac­tiv­i­ties on Dal­in­to­ber Beach and get 130 new­com­ers – 82 lo­cals and 48 vis­i­tors – out div­ing, kayak­ing, pad­dle board­ing and sail­ing. The feed­back was uni­ver­sally en­thu­si­as­tic: ‘More of this, please!’ We are work­ing with lo­cal youth or­gan­i­sa­tions and sports gov­ern­ing bod­ies to com­bat the chal­lenges faced by young peo­ple. Sea­s­ports has al­ready cre­ated op­por­tu­ni­ties for par­tic­i­pa­tion and train­ing as in­struc­tors to in­ter­na­tional stan­dards, and is de­vel­op­ing a long-term plan to con­tinue im­prov­ing life chances. The breadth and depth of our lo­cal com­mu­nity’s com­mit­ment to the Sea­s­ports pro­ject is re­garded by RYA Scot­land and VisitS­cot­land as a model for the fu­ture in other ar­eas. It is hard to be­lieve that there is a sec­tion of our com­mu­nity that shares Mr Camp­bell’s cyn­i­cism. The re­al­ity is that there has been an out­stand­ing vol­un­teer ef­fort to get to this point, and we plan to keep go­ing. There will be many chal­lenges ahead, but lack of com­mu­nity sup­port is not one of them. Camp­bell Fox, Chair­man of Kin­tyre Sea­s­ports SCIO.

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