Lewis Crathern is using his platform as a professional kiteboarder to connect with students at schools in the UK. Lewis’ message is about wind energy, sustainability, the environment, healthy living. This fall, Lewis is planning a tour of schools around the East Worthing and Lancing communities. The 2018 School Tour is supported by the Armada Trust & Rampion Fund at Sussex Community Foundation. Find out more by reading the information below, provided by Lewis Crathern and the Coastal West Sussex Partnership. Photos are by Eunice Bergin.

Professional Kitesurfer Lewis Crathern will be touring the local area in September. Visits will feature an interactive assembly and active outdoor fitness and kite flying session (when conditions allow). Real kitesurfing equipment will be on display for the students to touch and see before professional kitesurfer Lewis Crathern performs a demo. Trainer kite sessions will take place on school fields. The focus will be on wind energy, sustainability, the environment, healthy living and the work of the Armada Trust with Rampion etc.

Available dates are: September 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th, 17th, 18th, 19th, 20th and 21st. There will be no cost for the day and resource packs will be provided to the students. The ideal audience is a group of students who are the same year in school. Contact lewis@lewiscrathern.com to book your slot for your school.

Shelley Welti of the  Coastal West Sussex Partnership — an organisation which works together with businesses, organisations, educational institutions the public sector to work collectively on economic issues that affect the coastal area — shot some questions over to Lewis Crathern to find out more about his 2018 School Tour. We have that inteview for you below.

You’ve been visiting schools for over a decade – why is this so important to you?
I started visiting schools back in 2007 when my high school, St Andrews, invited me back to speak to the students. I will never forget that assembly. My mindset went from wondering what to say to young people (I was only 22 myself at the time) to soon realising that I had an incredible tool in which I could engage the students with. Kitesurfing.

I have learnt that when you combine photos & interesting videos into one interactive presentation, you can naturally deliver some important messages on a variety of topics. The beach, the weather, eco matters, recycling, green energy and so on.

I also bring all my equipment into the schools which allows me to give further insight into the sport. When talking to secondary schools, I especially like to talk a bit about career paths and the idea that you can do something you love as a job.

Kids don’t always want to be told things and, for me, there is nothing better than to be outside on school fields actively flying small kites. You can literally pass the power of the wind into their hands!

How did the Armada Trust school tour come about?
I have been a big fan of wind energy and wind farms for quite some years. Back in 2011 I headed over the States to the Offshore Wind Energy Conference and worked with GMS (cable laying company). It was amazing. I had a branded kite made, and I flew it in Baltimore and spoke at the conference. I also visited a local school in the time that I was there. It almost seemed like fate that a wind farm would be constructed right opposite my family home where I was brought up in East Worthing. The power comes in less than half a mile from the house! It seems completely logical to apply for funding to create a really amazing tour of the schools in our area. For years, I have visited them when I am back from my travels but with the help of funding, we have been able to design something really special. We have a Rampion branded kite that will be on display in the assemblies which I will also demo out on the field. There will also be a really cool resource pack for each of the students. This has been designed to be fun and informative for them and also to give them something to take away and talk with their parents about. Of course, it will also feature more information on how they can get into the sport as well. It’s quite a full-on tour, 10 days in a row, but I can’t wait for it!

How are you getting involved with the Eco Young and Engaged project?
The Eco Young and Engaged events are also very important to me. I have been attending them also since the start and I think Clare and the team are doing such a great job at running them. I will be there running workshops with the working title – Natural Forces which covers the following topics.

– The Power of the Wind
– How we can use Renewable Energy for Sport & in other areas of our lives + why it’s important
– Looking out for new ways to look after the environment
– Sustainability
– Where do our things come from?
– Our responsibility as Humans
– Sharing our good Messages
– Healthy Living

I love these workshops as it’s a chance for me to work in small numbers. Usually, with the assemblies there are 100+ children present, but in numbers 20 and below I can get some really good debate going. I love to run questionnaires and also give the students exercises between our kite flying time on the field.

Why do you think kiteboarding is a great skill for our young people to learn?
Kiteboarding is an incredible thing for young people to get involved in. There are people of many different ages and backgrounds that partake in the sport and as we kitesurf together we naturally meet a lot of people. This is great as a young person as often you tend to socialise with people your own age. It’s also a great vehicle in which to travel. The kites and boards are so small they are easy to take abroad. If you are one of those people who gets bored by the pool on holiday then this is the sport for you! Obviously the health benefits of speeding around on the sea attached to a kite go without saying, but there is also a great element of learning about where you live. For example, I never truly appreciated where I lived until my early teens. I have learnt all about the weather and the unique localised effects that we are lucky to receive here in Worthing. Probably the most amazing thing about it all is that when the rainy stormy weather comes that everybody loves to hate, we are the happiest people!

Kitesurfing Armada
Another event that I am very involved in and have been main ambassador since the start, six years ago, is the Kitesurfing Armada. It takes place on Hayling Island from the 22nd to the 24th of June. The event has very big Eco theme which relates closely to the messages I pass on to young people. We even have a schools day there on Friday where children come for the afternoon to see what’s going on and partake in a big group chat with me. The Kitesurfing Armada has live music across two stages, a massive brands marquee, a family zone, hot tubs, yoga, pro BMX displays, quality food, craft stalls, charity fundraising, DJ’s, parties, bars and of course loads of kitesurfing! Everybody is welcome! Entrance to the festival arena is free but you must register online in advance to get your free tickets. Register here!

Learn more at lewiscrathern.com!

Fri 11th May, 2018 @ 10:30 am

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