MORE than 50 Rhyl pupils have become the first in Wales to follow in the footsteps of one of the world’s first global entrepreneurs.

Christchurch County Primary School’s year six pupils have earned their sea legs with a Level One Royal Yachting Association qualification, organised and funded by the Sir Thomas Lipton Foundation.

The school joins others in South Africa, Australia, England, Ireland and Sir Lipton’s home country of Scotland on the programme, which seeks to raise aspirations and inspire pupils through the study of the celebrated yachtsman and self made 19th century business mogul, who founded more than 300 stores across the country as well as the world famous tea brand Lipton.

Laurence Brady, founder and director of the Sir Thomas Lipton Foundation, said: “I am delighted that Buoyed Up, our sea-change programme for whole classes of 10 to 12 year olds at school in deprived areas, is now firmly established in North Wales.

“We are especially fortunate to be working in partnership with Christchurch Primary School in Rhyl where the teachers and pupils have embraced the whole concept of Buoyed Up with great enthusiasm.

“Our sailing partners, Colwyn Bay Watersports, are also committed to making Buoyed Up a success, and we look forward to adding more partners in North Wales to make the experience even more memorable for the children of Christchurch Primary in 2019.”

The pupils learned about Thomas Lipton through a series of classroom activities, studying how he established his successful tea business and his love of sailing, followed by a week’s sailing to achieve their qualification.

Mr Brady then travelled to the school on Tuesday, October 23 to present the pupils with a cap and t-shirt to celebrate their achievements.

Matthew Bennett, deputy headteacher, said: “After reading about the Buoyed Up initiative in a yachting magazine, I made contact with Laurence Brady to see if he would be interested in working with a school from Wales.

“After some initial discussions and a number of visits Christchurch CP school became the first and only school in Wales to join the buoyed up initiative.

“I was incredibly impressed by the children’s attitude and the levels that they achieved by the end of the week considering how nervous that some of the children were at the start of the week, the transformation was amazing.

“We are currently planning next year’s project and have every intention of making it a yearly event as it has been in the other schools around the world since 2014.”