Skip to the content

Dinghy Instructor & Youth Mentee Programme

The Mentee scheme is aimed at youth sailors aged 14+, to help them prepare to become an employable and experienced RYA Dinghy Instructor. The scheme offers participants valuable teaching experience to help prepare participants to become RYA Dinghy Instructors, as well as offering valuable teaching experience to recently qualified RYA Dinghy Instructors. The scheme also offers 14-16 year olds the chance to become an RYA Assistant Dinghy Instructor, which enables them to be employed by HISC.

Becoming an RYA Dinghy Instructor at 16 year olds does not mean you suddenly become an expert instructor. The mentee scheme offers invaluable hands on teaching practise alongside more experienced instructors enabling participants to become successful and safe Instructors at HISC.

Click here for more information on our Youth RYA Dinghy Instructor & Assistant Dinghy Instructor scheme.

Introduced to HISC by Melvyn Cooper of Melvyn Cooper Sailing, the scheme is now managed by Sonnie, the Marine Manager with assistance of Volunteer Rebecca Tuttle.

Who is it available to?

Anyone over the age of 14 years who is planning to become an RYA Dinghy Instructor or would like to become an RYA Assistant Instructor.

Anyone who is a qualified RYA Dinghy Instructor and who wishes to gain essential experience of teaching to make themselves more employable.

The HISC Mentor programme:

The HISC Mentee programme is a group of like-minded people looking for guidance and opportunity to become competent RYA instructors.
The aim of the programme is to pool participants to be the first people that see opportunities that will help them understand the process of delivering safe and productive sailing sessions, understanding the important role if the RYA Dinghy Instructor. Being a part of the programme is free of charge for the mentee.

As a participant you will be assisting another instructor, the lead instructor will allocate tasks where appropriate, depending on known experience or qualification of the participant.
Being a mentee will consist of mainly voluntary work apart from those that are qualified taking effective roles during training.

The role of the Mentors:

Mentors will give constructive support, sharing of experience and encouragement to participants of the mentee scheme.  All mentors bring their own teaching experience to the role and have interpersonal skills to support others. They  will lead sailing sessions and courses,  encouraging mentee participants to help on the RIB,  rigging boats, launching & recovery and teaching where appropriate.  

Mentee opportunities to gain experience at HISC: Youth Training Week, HISC Red Ribbon Training Club with Melvyn Cooper, Youth Sailing Saturdays, Winter Class Coaching, Thursday Club, RYA Courses, and Seals.

Dates of opportunities will be forwarded to participants to select from, dates can also be found on the HISC calendar to give you an idea.

Please register your intent to apply by emailing:

A word from previous Mentee Freddy Wood:

'For me the benefits of taking part meant that I gained Instructing experience from those who have been doing it for many years, and I was able to practice teaching techniques without the pressure of being in charge. This then led to me passing my Dinghy Instructor (DI) course, using this prior Instructing experience.

The main things that I learnt was how much patience you need and how essential a sense of humour is!  I clearly remember the first session when I said ‘Head up’ and the little girl in question looked up to the sky, before giving me a very confused look!

At first, when asked to speak in front of a group of children, I was nervous and unclear with my instructions. Under the useful feedback of my various mentors, I developed a lot as an instructor and, by the end, I could plan, explain and deliver a session confidently. It was a lot more rewarding to see children enjoying your own session, rather than just sitting in the back of a RIB helping with safety cover.

I would highly recommend the mentee programme because you develop a lot of skills as an Instructor, which is useful for your DI course. You feel as though you are giving something back to HISC and, most importantly, it is a lot of fun!'