Young leader: Matthew to hone his sailing skills

With 2015 an election year, the Carrick Times hears the views of young people in the borough who are playing a role in the wider community on subjects ranging from whether the voting age should be lowered to the merits of volunteering and helping others.

Matthew Hilditch de Fleury.

Matthew Hilditch de Fleury (17)

County Antrim Yacht Club, Whitehead.

What were the highlights of the year just past?

Achieving my RYA Dinghy Instructor qualification and undertaking the RYA Race Coach Level 2 course as I am keen to support future club racing. Working at CAYC during the summer and learning life skills to help me teach kids and adults.

Working very closely with the CAYC Rescue Team to make sure that we are able to help people and even potentially save their lives out on the water.

What attracted you to the club role?

I have been a member at CAYC for seven years, but six years of it I have been part of the family within the club. I joined the rescue team when I was 11 years old as a crew member. Then after serving my time as a crew with a lot of hours of experience on the water, I went onto to achieve my RYA Powerboat Level 2, in October 2012 having just turned 15 years old.

I have learnt my skills from highly skilled people and have continued to improve myself because when I want to achieve something I keep working on it and practice until I get it right. Now with these skills and techniques, working alongside the other Club safety boats crew, we able to ensure that the safety and well-being of the dinghy sailors is a priority during training sessions and racing events at County Antrim Yacht Club.

I also work as part of a medical team for an ambulance service.

Do you think more people should volunteer in the community?

Getting involved in something new can be a real challenge. Volunteering can help you achieve personal goals, develop new skills and practice your talents. Sometimes a volunteer experience can lead you to something you never even thought about or help you to discover a hobby or interest you were unaware of.

What are your hopes for 2015?

Become a RYA Powerboat Instructor. Improve my sailing skills and knowledge.