Nine-year-old Callum Paget has received the 2018 Sportsmanship award for the Southport Yacht Club Dinghy Division.
After trying many different sports, nine year old Callum Paget joined the Funsail mornings at the Southport Yacht Club’s main club house, Main Beach in December 2017.
Right from the beginning, Callum knew he had found his ‘thing’. It came as no surprise to his parents Yvette and Logan that he loved it so much, sailing is in his genes!
He went on to complete Tackers 1, 2 and 3 at the Southport Yacht Club Hollywell arm. Tackers is a structured LearnToSail programme overseen by multiple Olympic champion, Mathew Belcher. Each week Callum gained knowledge and confidence. He learned how to maneuver his single Opti (his little dinghy with a sail all by himself) out on the Broadwater. Lessons were given on tacking, jibing, wind speeds, currents, tides, markers and more. All under his incredible and passionate coach, Danah Clements.
The lessons don’t end on the beach. Callum is expected to take full responsibility of his Opti. He loads it onto a trailer, rigs it, checks it and wheels it down to the water. He then loads it back onto the trailer, wheels it back to the boat shed, washes it down and packs all the equipment away. Such a sense of ownership for such a young kid.
Callum completed the 3 races on his first regatta after capsizing numerous times. Cool as a cucumber, he rolled his Opti back over and continued the race, all unassisted and all while his peers were retiring from the race. Another regatta was a marathon, two and a half hours out on the water, last in, however stayed the course despite being the youngest and most inexperienced sailor of the fleet.
Skills learned in sport are transferrable to general life, winning, losing, dedication, persistence, determination, grit and so much more.
Callum will compete in the 2019 winter ‘Polar Bear Series’. We look forward to hearing about Callum growing in his chosen sport.