Birkdale High School pupil received a new boat in assembly


Photo: Sam Cooper

Thirteen year old Sam Cooper, a pupil at Birkdale High School had the surprise of his life during a school assembly where he was given a new boat! Sam has been selected to represent Great Britain, sailing a topper at international level.

The topper boat was donated to Sam by the ‘Benjamin Gautrey foundation’ and was actually presented to him by Ben’s mother in an emotional ceremony in front of all the boys in years 7 and 8. Other members of the foundation were also present along with Sam’s very proud mum, dad and grandad. The foundation was set up following the tragic death of Benjamin and its purpose is to make sure Ben’s name lives on through supporting other young promising local sports stars.

Once the shock had worn off Sam was able to comment, “It is a real pleasure to receive such a surprise from the Benjamin Gautrey foundation and to receive the boat from his mum made it extra special. I shall try my best whenever I’m in the boat to do everyone who has supported me; the foundation, my family and the school proud”.

Headteacher, Mr Bourgade said, “We wish Sam well as he represents Great Britain at the forthcoming Irish Nationals and Topper world championships in Lake Garda as we are very proud of him and his achievements. We are privileged to have a pupil who has been supported by the Benjamin Gautrey foundation and we thank them sincerely for their gift”.


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