The Royal Southampton Yacht Club Trust (RSYCT) supports young carers by providing them with opportunities for water activities, teaching them to sail, offering them outdoor activities on the water and respite from their caring duties. Young carers often spend much of their time looking after a parent or sibling so have few opportunities to take part in physical activities or sport. RSYCT supports them to try water activities such as sailing, kayaking and paddle boarding and then continue with recreational, competition or formal instruction activities.

RSYCT was awarded £295 from the Michael Austin Harlick Fund which is managed by HIWCF and was established to support sport and competitions across the region, providing funding for the of the cost of trophies, medals or other prizes for those succeeding in open competitions

A shield, entitled the Michael Austin Harlick Shield, was purchased and is now part of an annual award that will be awarded to a young carer who has shown most endeavor through the year in water activities. They may have overcome many obstacles to reach goals but have persevered and achieved.

The winner of the Michael Austin Harlick Shield for 2022 was Hayatt Kahim who became involved in water activities through Southampton Young Carers (No Limits).

A spokesperson said: “Hayatt has shown outstanding courage and bravery during the programme of water activities that No Limits and RSYC Trust have run in partnership over the last few months. Hayatt is a young carer and has to support her mum to care for her brother… Despite all of the extra responsibility and challenges in her own life she has risen to the challenge  and attended all the activities we have offered: Kayaking at Woodmill , Water Activity Day ay Gins on the Beaulieu River, sailing taster at SWAC , RYA Level 1 two day sailing course and  Stand up Paddleboarding at Woodmill. It was the first time she had ever done any kind of watersports and despite her own anxiety she threw herself into all the activities fully and thoroughly enjoyed herself, even achieving a RYA Level 1 sailing qualification at a two day course she took part in at SWAC.”