Simple Ways for Youngsters to Get Afloat
Published 17:50 on 11 Jan 2021
Children and teens have always had a great time being members of Bosham Sailing Club spending time on the water, making friends and exploring beautiful Chichester Harbour. Some might argue that youngsters having a healthy outdoor pursuit has never been more important, as a counterbalance to screen time and as a break from school life. Bosham Sailing Club has a thriving family membership, with a focus on youngsters having fun and enjoying time afloat. Getting wet, being a bit tired and having a laugh is what it's all about.
It's pretty amazing that children as young as 8 can get in a little dinghy, steer it and be in charge of their own vessel! However, under the guidance of fantastic instructors, and benefiting from Bosham's unique sheltered position and gentle tides, that's exactly what they do. And it doesn't matter what age or ability you start at. From that initial foray into a boat there opens up a wonderful world of opportunities and experiences.
Many go on to discover the pleasure of club racing. This isn't about aggressive competitiveness, but more about a group of youngsters sailing around a course, improving their skills, engendering a sense of belonging, and mildly celebrating those that went round fastest on that given day. Bosham has a strong belief in rewarding effort and character, not just results, so we give prizes for being sporting and showing true grit as well as for coming first or second.
What might be surprising though is what seems to happen as a result of this emphasis on fun and enjoyment. Because we focus on the true values of the sport, the love of the water and outdoors, the joy of piloting your own vessel, and the pleasure of having friends outside of work or school, a few youngsters then naturally want to take sailing to a higher level. Therefore, Bosham Sailing Club has some top notch race coaching available for those that want to do it. The fundamental love and enjoyment of sailing, combined with that continued learning, has meant Bosham Sailing Club has had a number of its youngsters selected for regional and national squads. Some have even recently represented Team GB at international events.
Bosham Sailing Club has two different 'pathways' that cadets (0-18yr olds) can follow: 'double-handed' (two person dinghy) or 'single-handed' (one person dinghy). The club felt it important to have a strong offering for the single-handed pathway because:
- It wants to make sailing for its youngsters as easy and as accessible as possible.
- We understand that many parents don't want sailing for their child to be overly complicated, overly expensive, or reliant on another child to be available as their crew.
Our single-handed pathway is:
All these types of boats can be bought, stored, transported and maintained with less expense and effort than you might imagine. For example, a perfectly useable second hand Topper can be purchased for under £500, be popped on a roof rack if required, and be rigged and on the water in 10 minutes.
At BSC we want as many youngsters as possible enjoying one of the most fabulous places on earth, making new friends and being part of a community, partaking in competitive sailing but also amazing non-serious on-the-water fun activities; but most of all creating lasting, special childhood memories. We do this all year round, from the amazing August 'Junior Week' racing and fun event, training courses and expert coaching weekends, to Halloween discos and Easter egg hunts. The single-handed pathway helps us to achieve this.
We have high hopes that 2021 sailing season will get underway with enormous energy once the current restrictions begin to be lifted. Bosham Sailing Club is ready to go. If you would like more information about the single handed pathway, or anything else, do have a look contact us here.
Will Curtis Jan 2021
Last updated 12:04 on 6 March 2021