Twenty two years ago today, the Mount Batten Watersports and Activities Centre was officially opened on the Mount Batten peninsula by HRH Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh, who this month would have celebrated his 100th birthday. The Centre was created to provide education, recreational and leisure water and land based activities and experiences to the local community and schools from across the country and abroad.
Alex King, Centre Director since January 2011 says: “It is my privilege to be the Centre Director at the Mount Batten Watersports and Activities Centre and it is testament to my small team that we have been able to cope with many different situations and scenarios over the years, and not least, the last fifteen months that we have all found ourselves in.
There really is nothing better than hearing the fun and laughter of hundreds of school children experiencing watersports for the first time each summer term, or seeing people who were reluctant to even get their feet wet trying Stand-Up Paddleboarding for the first time in a safe and sheltered environment, or seeing a fleet leaving the Centre for a regatta out in the Sound or the gigs all lined up ready to compete against each other.
We call our customer’s experiences ‘Mount Batten Moments’ and over the years, as we have welcomed thousands of people through our doors, myself and my small dedicated team continue to be humbled and inspired by the memories made here. It’s not a grandiose statement to say that some of our customers, especially young adults, experience positive life changing moments here on the water, which will stay with them for the rest of their lives.”
In late 2014, the Mount Batten Watersports and Activities Centre was granted Charity status, the Centre had previously been run as a not-for-profit organisation. Successfully satisfying the strict criteria governed by Charity Law, the Centre has always considered the ‘advancement of education’ and the ‘advancement of amateur sport’ at its core and ‘to promote, sustain and increase individual and collective knowledge and understanding of specific areas of study, skills and expertise.’
The Centre also satisfies the criteria of ‘public benefit requirement’ – as one of the leading Watersports and Activities Centres in the South West, the Mount Batten Centre provides activities, courses and programmes that both individuals, clubs and event organisers greatly benefit from.
The Centre continues to hold a pivotal role in large scale sailing events, both locally, regionally, nationally and internationally held in the Sound and will continue to do so in the years ahead and is excited to support the city’s aspirations for Plymouth Sound to become the UK’s first National Marine Park, which, will of course, continue to benefit the local community and beyond who want to be able to engage, learn and experience watersports in a safe, fun and memorable way here in Britain’s Ocean City.
Alex concludes: “We continue to look to the future – of the Centre, of Plymouth, and of the growing importance of educating our local community about water safety and the positive experiences of being on or by the water by working alongside key partners within the city.”