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Will Mackaness Trust

“The aim of The Will Mackaness Trust is to give as many young people the opportunity to experience the thrill of water activities and give financial support to those who have shown a particular skill in water activities to enable them to progress further.”

The trust was set up following the untimely death of the former Head Boy (2007-2008) of The Wey Valley School, Will Mackaness.

Will was an avid sportsman who took a full and active part in all aspects of school life, despite undergoing intensive treatment for the most aggressive form of brain tumour.


One of Will’s passions was water sports especially windsurfing. It is for this reason that the trust has been set up to help give more water sport opportunities to our students, so they can experience the fun and exhilaration of windsurfing, sailing, canoeing and kayaking for themselves. Water sports are such an expensive but immensely enjoyable activity and the trust aims to help support students who want to take it up or wish to progress further.

The trust has:

  •  Successful registered as a charity
  • Enabled students to learn to windsurf, sail, kayak and surf
  • Given students the chance to develop windsurfing and racing skills.
  • Sponsored students to go on Tall Ships Challenge trips.
  • Contributed to students taking part in this year’s expedition to Alaska through the
  • Dorset Expedition Society.
  • Sponsored Tom Mules in his quest to become a world class biathlete.
  • Helped non swimmers to swim
  • Our windsurf team were Dorset schools Champions in 2012  and we have students who are competing nationally in sailing competitions
  • Students have taken part in the ‘Portland to Overcombe’ challenge  as well as a 100 mile  sailing challenge in 2011 and a sponsored  sail from dawn to dusk in 2012 and all in all have raised over £2,500 for the charity
  • In the build up to the Olympics the Echo selected the ‘The Will Mackaness Trust’ as their chosen charity and through a fund raising curry and quiz night and the features in the paper raised almost £2,000.
  • Portland Marina raised £1,700 through their summer fundraising evening following the Olympics
  • In 2012 The Society of Dorset Men Donated £500 to the trust.
  • The Trust is embedding these charitable activities to acknowledge the impact and legacy of the Olympics.

The Trust can only function through the support and hard work of friends of the Wey Valley School and Sports College through their generous donations and inspirational fund raising activities. Indeed, three of the original students who learnt to windsurf through the Trust undertook to windsurf from Portland over to Overcombe Corner, raising over £1000

The Trust was the chosen charity for DEK in 2009 who donated over £ 3000 through the generosity of their employees and the efforts of 2 of their employees in particular who took part in a sponsored triathlon cycling, walking and kayaking from North Devon to Overcombe Corner.

Also 2 former students completed a walk, run and kayak from Lulworth to the Pavilion and back to Overcombe Corner, another former student undertook the Ironman challenge to raise money for the Trust.

The Trust is grateful for the support of Nick Dempsey (world and Olympic windsurfer) as one of the trustees.