KING’S Ely Sixth Form student Toby Roney (16) is preparing for a challenge of a lifetime after becoming the first recipient of the school’s Tall Ships Youth Trust (TSYT) Award.

The award will enable Toby, an intrepid Explorer Scout from Cambridge, to embark on a seven day voyage of the high seas, where he will experience many physical and psychological challenges and discover skills and abilities that he may never have realised he had.

The TSYT Award was donated to the school by former pupil David Andrew, who left King’s Ely Sixth Form in 1959. David is passionate about sailing and has been an active member and volunteer for the Tall Ships Youth Trust since 1981, when he first went on a sail training voyage.

“I am delighted for Toby that he is the first recipient of the King’s Ely TSYT Award,” said David. “Having worked on the TSYT’s ships for over thirty years as a volunteer officer, I have seen time and time again the beneficial results of the Trust’s work in helping the development of young people”.

“As an Old Elean, I welcome the opportunity to help the school through the donation of this award in recognition of the spirit of adventure and independence that King’s Ely instilled in me. My education not only gave me the necessary academic ability to qualify as a Chartered Engineer in later years, but also a love of the great outdoors, sailing, adventure and the desire to help other people.”

Sue Freestone, Principal of King’s Ely, commented: “Toby is a young man with an adventurous spirit, a proper humility and a highly developed sense of responsibility.  This combination of personality traits makes him an ideal first recipient of this award. We are so grateful to David Andrew for giving the school something so attuned to the core message of what we are about.”

The TSYT is a registered charity that is dedicated to the personal development of young people through the crewing of ocean going sail training vessels.  It is the UK’s oldest and largest sail training charity for young people aged 12-25. For further information, please visit




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