Save the date for 2017
Thank you to all who helped make this year's RYA Push the Boat Out (PTBO) as successful as ever. Despite some challenging weather conditions, nearly 500 events across the country saw over 30,000 people attend their local venue with most of them getting out on the water to experience sailing and windsurfing.
This year for the first time we were delighted that 50 MPs attended PTBO events and we’re grateful to everyone who was involved in making this happen.
Date for the diary: Push the Boat Out 2017 will take place 13-21 May.
Midland Sailing Club, situated just over a mile from the centre of Birmingham, saw 120 people visit their club with 85 having a go at sailing. Local MP Shabana Mahmood was amongst those attending and spent time with club members, got out on the water and saw for herself the wide cross section of those who were enjoying their sailing taster sessions.
The club advertised their event with press releases to the local media and worked with their Regional Communicator and club members to helped spread the word by displaying posters at local schools and places of work.
“We’re a city centre club and we have found that PTBO gives us a way of engaging effectively with the local community as part of a national event."
On the day Midland SC signed up new memberships including two families. Volunteers also collected email addresses from everyone who attended on the day to follow up and invite them back to future open days, events and courses.
Aldenham SC in Hertfordshire gave visitors of all ages a sample of life at their club when they held a Push the Boat Out event for the first time. Around 200 people young and old sampled the joys of sailing from new comers to ex sailors who hadn’t been on the water for over 20 years.
The club advertised their event on their website as well as Facebook and worked with their RC on promotion in the local press and ‘what’s on’ guides. Visitors pre-booked taster sessions and were provided with free tea and cakes plus knot tying activities for the youngsters.
Jim Strother, organiser of the event at Aldenham, said: "The organisation was superb and this was the biggest publicity event we've run in living memory, if not ever. Everyone I met had a story to tell and there were smiles all around."
With application forms available on the day Aldenham SC secured 15 new memberships including many families and all those who attended were sent a follow on email explaining how they can join the club.
Bristol Corinthian Yacht Club
In the days in the run up to PTBO at Bristol Corinthian Yacht Club on Cheddar Reservior the pre- bookings rose from 15 to 43 but the wind strength also rose to 25knots with heavy rain forecast on the day. The club were prepared with presentations, indoor activities, land drills on boats and drafted in extra help to manage the galley and bar. It was decided that reefed down Wayfarers, Enterprises and Laser 2000s would be suitable to take out pre booked guests.
On the day the weather was wet but not too windy to sail and despite the rain 61 people visited the club including local MP James Heappey and his family.
“Some visitors were so impressed they joined on the spot. To encourage others to consider membership, the club held more taster sessions in June and are planning some beginner and intermediate sailing training in August”.
PTBO Feedback Survey
Thank you to everyone who took the time to give us their feedback - we’re currently analysing the results and working to ensure we can improve on 2017’s event. Well will report back to all PTBO Activators later in the summer.
Congratulations to Locks Sailing Club in Portsmouth who ran a great PTBO day and were chosen at random to win £250 which will be used towards a social event to thank club volunteers and welcome new members.
More information on PTBO 2017 will be released soon.
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