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Fevas ready to take to the water at Bosham Junior Week 2013

22 November 2013
Nine West Sussex sailing clubs have had their junior and youth racing credentials rubber-stamped after being confirmed as RYA Champion Clubs for 2013-2014.

Arun Youth Aqua Centre, Bosham SC, Emsworth SC, Emsworth Slipper SC, Felpham SC, Itchenor SC, Lancing SC and Chichester and Crawley Mariners yacht clubs are ‘centres of excellence’ for young sailors in pursuit of future international success.

The RYA Champion Club programme is the foundation of the RYA’s hugely-successful and productive Junior and Youth Racing Programme, and the very bedrock of the British Olympic and Paralympic Sailing Team.

The programme recognises, promotes and invests in clubs that have continually introduced young people into sail racing and encouraged them to progress via good quality race training in a safe and fun environment. 

Bosham SC is one of no fewer than 173 sailing clubs nationwide benefitting from investment, support and resources as part of the RYA Champion Club programme. Matt Wright, the club’s Training Principal, explains the difference being an RYA Champion Club has made to them.

At the start the programme gave us the impetus we needed to make the necessary investment in the club’s future, namely focussing on our juniors and youth. With the help of many volunteers, including parents and the training team, we now have an established programme for the younger members to participate. One local school contacted us specifically because of the news about us being an RYA Champion Club.

“Our summer Junior Week has always been popular and this year over 165 young people participated in 125 boats over six cadet classes. Thanks to our RYA Champion Club status it is now supported by a structure across the year, while also stimulating us to encourage families and run ‘Welcome Sailing Days’ for new youth members.

“We have really benefitted from the RYA’s support, particularly with higher level coaching from class specific experts and have enjoyed success in the Optimist and Topper classes nationally, but also internationally in both the Feva and 420 classes. 

“However the real benefit of being a Champion Club has been felt across the club, with a younger and a more active racing membership giving the senior members a real challenge in our regular racing programme!”

Following a successful bid to Sport England as part of the RYA’s 2013 - 17 Whole Sport Plan, the RYA took the opportunity to review, update and refine the RYA Champion Club programme. 

Duncan Truswell, RYA Youth Racing Manager, added: “These RYA Champion Clubs are the very foundations of our World Class performance programmes, providing great coaching, advice and support and great places for young people to have fun while learning to sail, race and developing their enthusiasm for competitive sailing. 

“They continue to be instrumental in consistently developing the next generation of Olympic and Paralympic sailors. We are indebted to the many club volunteers who form the committees, coaches and race officials and who give up their time and expertise to support the next generation of sailors all across the UK.”

More information about the RYA Champion Club programme can be found at www.rya.org.uk/programmes/ryachampionclub 

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