Playing For Success

Pete Goss is a founder and Trustee of the charity ‘Cornwall Playing for Success’. He raised both awareness and funds for the charity through his entries in the 2006 Round Britain and Ireland yacht race, the Rolex FASTNET 2007 yacht race and currently through his latest adventure, the Spirit of Mystery.

Playing for Success (PfS) is a national out-of-school-hours initiative set up to raise literacy, numeracy and ICT skills in children who have unrealised potential, using the motivation of sport to improve young people’s attitudes to learning and motivation in school. They often don’t quite connect with school, leaving them feeling disaffected and demoralised.  

PfS uses sport to bridge that gap with dramatic results, as Pete explains:

“On a ten week out-of-school-hours programme, the students improve their literacy and numeracy scores by 17 and 24 months in primary and secondary schools respectively. However, the real ‘fairy dust’ is self-esteem, which is carried back to school with long-term results.”

There are over 160 PfS centres nationally. In Cornwall, we have four centres, with our first centre opening at the Cornish Pirates – the Pirates Learning Zone - 8 years ago, and our latest centre due to open at Truro City FC in September. Our other two PfS centres have been established in Outdoor Education Centres, delivering literacy and numeracy using the curriculum of adventure activities. They are the Delaware Adventure Zone for Learning and Porthpean Outdoor Education Centre, which became a permanent centre due to the funds raised by Pete and the team in the 2006 Round Britain and Ireland yacht race. Each centre has established outdoor classrooms that are used as an alternative environment for the pupils to work on their MacBooks with full access to wireless networks. The curriculum programme includes using archery in mental mathematics, poetry composed on night visits to Dartmoor as well as canoeing and coastal sea kayaking. The centres have been championed by Pete whose survival and sailing achievements are used as part of the curriculum. All our centres believe that helping to build confidence and self-esteem is a high priority in motivating youngsters back into learning.  

The long-term goal of the charity is to use these four centres as bases to spread the initiative right across the county. The charity seek sponsorship to place additional teachers at each of our four centres, targeting 15% of the county’s 10-14 year old population. The charity is currently supporting the roll out of the Pirates Learning Zone across Camborne, Pool and Redruth. 

If you would like further information or would like to make a donation, please email

For more information on the national Playing for Success initiative log onto

Below video ~  The launch of Playing for Success

Journey to Date
  • Kayak Adventures 2012
  • The Route du Rhum 2010
  • Spirit of Mystery 2008-9
  • North Pole 2006-9
  • Fastnet 2007
  • RB&I 2006
  • SeaCart 30
  • Playing for Success
  • Team Philips 2000
  • Vendee Globe 1996/7
  • British Steel Challenge 1992
  • Cornish Meadow 1988
  • Three Peaks Race 1984