New date for Ellia’s big sail

GRASSCROFT’S Ellia Rhodes has been forced to delay her solo endurance sail in aid of the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital (RMCH) because of lockdown restrictions.

The 16-year-old, who was due to take to the water in her dinghy for a 10-hour sail on April 17, has scheduled Saturday, May 29 as a likely new date.

However, there will be a change of venue from Dovestone to Redesmere Sailing Club which is near Capesthorne Hall and where she will be training five days a week from April 1.

But Ellia and her mother Joanna invite supporters on the day with the promise of refreshments and cakes for those who travel to East Cheshire.

Ellia, who has chosen to raise funds for the RMCH, has already received pledges of £824 towards her £2,000 target.

Ellia Rhodes

She is a member of the RMCH Youth Forum, a group of young people who aim to improve children’s experience of the RMCH and develop services that work for them.

And as a patient at RMCH on numerous occasions, Ellia is grateful for the incredible work they do.

Ellia, who attends online Net School, said: “I am very proud to support the RMCH. With my 10-hour sail challenge, I hope to raise as much money as possible for young people who attend and stay at RMCH.

“Please share my JustGiving page and I look forward to your support on this fun day.”

Ellia began sailing aged nine taking Royal Yachting Association youth courses at Dovestone, initially sailing was secondary to her ballet.

In 2018, Ellia developed a painful, growth condition patello femoral dysfunction. She was unable to continue with ballet and chose to focus on sailing as her primary sport.

She has developed a love for sailing, improving her skills and bought her own dinghy called Fantaztic in December 2019.

Ellia recently secured sponsorship from RS Sailing, an international manufactures of dinghy boats.

She has been nominated for Pride of Britain and Pride of Sport awards and the BBC has expressed an interest in interviewing Ellia on BBC’s North West Tonight the week before her big sail.

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