Immy Palmer in Year 11 has been awarded a sailing scholarship from the Andrew Simpson Foundation Performance Academy. The scholarship is both a financial award, to be able to access class specific performance academy training, but more importantly a supportive award where sailing experts will help her to reach her international level goals.
Immy began sailing at a young age and has been competing since she was eight years old. Starting in an Optimist dinghy, she joined the Royal Hospital School Sailing Academy in Year 8 on a sailing scholarship and currently sails in the ILCA 4 class. Immy is able to sail during her school games sessions on Tuesday afternoons and compete for the school or her club at the weekends.
Immy says; “I am really excited to get the support I will need to get to international level with my sailing. I am aiming to qualify to represent GBR at this summer's World Championship in Portugal – I am currently in 2nd position with two more qualifiers to go. My dream is to compete in the Olympics but also to become an emergency doctor.”
Immy is an ambitious young lady, hoping to combine her academics and her sailing to a very high level. The youngest of four children, Immy has been inspired by her family but also by a near tragic incident that she experienced in the Summer of 2020. Whilst training in her boat, she was trapped underwater and experienced secondary drowning, spending a week in hospital before making a full recovery. This did not deter her from getting back in her boat, however, and she is now more determined than ever to fulfil her sailing and academic dreams. It is these values, we believe, that captured the attention of the Andrew Simpson Foundation and won her the Scholarship.
Director of Sailing, Mr Ed Sibson, comments; “Immy is a very impressive young sailor and I have enjoyed being part of her development over the past few years. The Foundation believes that Immy demonstrates the right values that the Scholarship was designed for, and they look forward to helping her to perform on the international stage.”
The Andrew Simpson Foundation was set up in memory of Andrew Simpson, an inspirational sailor who lost his life on board an America's Cup boat whilst training for the America's Cup, at just 36 years old. The Foundation was initially set up to provide opportunity for disadvantaged young people to experience the many benefits that sailing provides including self -confidence, self- worth, self -reliance, independence, mental and physical health benefits, freedom and a sense of belonging. In 2020 the foundation developed a Performance Sailing Academy designed specifically to deliver class specialist training from class experts to passionate and committed sailors with ambition to compete at an International level. The Performance Academy is based on the same principles as the Foundation and include, inclusivity, inspiration, enjoyment, community and partnership.
New for 2022 the Performance Academy announced the launch of 4 scholarships across the junior, youth and adult sailing and windsurfing classes. The scholarships were designed to provide subsidised access to high quality class specific training and mentorship to help passionate national fleet sailors embark on their onward sailing journey. Scholarships were awarded based on need and belief in the core values of the foundation and it is one of these awards that Immy was successful in gaining.