A world champion sailor is to motivate young people in Rochford as part of a new course to build self-confidence.
Blind world champion helm sailor Lucy Hodges MBE, who won the Rochford District Sports Personality of the Year title in 2010, is one of the mentoring coaches in the 10-week course funded by Sanctuary Housing.
A dozen young people aged between 8 and 14 from Rochford Garden Way estate and surrounding areas will take part in Girl Power sessions that help them challenge gender stereotypes, avoid peer pressure and build their self-confidence by tackling body image issues.
Workshops will also encourage them to become more self-aware and become positive role models for their peers and younger children, while also learning elements of Kung Fu, Tai Chi and meditation.
Gavin King, head coach at Rochford Martial Arts Academy, is leading the girl power sessions, which are open to all young people but particularly aimed at females. It will include advice written by Lucy Hodges along with a session with the medallist.
Chris Silvey, Sanctuary Housing’s resident involvement officer for Rochford, said: “We are proud to fund these sessions as they are all about raising the expectations of young people and making them feel more ambitious about what they can achieve. Lucy is an inspirational person so we are delighted that she will be taking part as a mentor.”
Originally from Rochford, Lucy Hodges has branched out into motivational speaking in recent years while continuing to sail. Lucy added: “I was keen to get involved in something that is challenging stereotypes and giving young people more self-confidence. Thanks to Sanctuary Housing, we have the chance to show young people that they do have choices and there is a world of opportunity that awaits them.”
Funding for the project comes from Sanctuary’s Community Investment Fund, which supports projects that benefit Sanctuary residents and their communities.