Demonstrating how achievable sustainable boating can be
Ten university sailing clubs from across the UK are taking part in the first ever University Sailing Sustainability Challenge, set up by The Green Blue – a joint environment programme created by the Royal Yachting Association and British Marine.
University students love a challenge, so it didn’t take long for The Green Blue’s Environmental Outreach Officer, Kate Fortnam, to design and launch a three tier competition with a prize draw incentive and invited university clubs to sign up. From the forty-six university sailing clubs in the UK, the ten that have stepped forward include Plymouth, Bournemouth, Southampton, Oxford, Manchester, York, Newcastle, Leeds, Glasgow and Strathclyde.
Each club has nominated a Sustainability Officer to drive their team effort and champion their sustainability actions. The challenge will see university sailing clubs competing to undertake a series of sustainable actions throughout the academic year in order to enter a prize draw and demonstrate to the rest of the boating community how achievable sustainable boating can be.
Sustainable actions include: ensuring their sailing venues have a spill kit available to clean up any accidental spills when boaters are handling oil and fuel, ensuring members use re-usable water bottles (rather than single use plastic bottles) during training sessions and events to reduce waste, and making sure their boats, trailers and equipment are checked, cleaned and dried to minimise the spread of invasive non-native species around UK waters.
Southampton University Sailing Club’s Commodore, Tom Harrison said: “As soon as we heard about The Green Blue’s new challenge we were very keen to get involved.
“This is a great opportunity for our sailing club members to learn how to be more sustainable and show other boaters how it can be done. I strongly believe that our sport can do even more to be sustainable and ensure our sailing environment is clean and safe for generations to come.”
The response has been brilliant and The Green Blue is very excited to have such an enthusiastic and competitive group of sailing students on board helping to promote sustainable boating.
Participating clubs have to complete three different award levels, Bronze, Silver and Gold by 27 March 2016. Each award level has a number of sustainable actions that need to be actioned and evidenced in order to be entered into three prize draws to win £100, £250 and £500 respectively.
All three prize draw winners will be invited to attend the BUCS Team Racing Championships in April 2016 to be awarded their prizes and certificates for their effort and achievements.
If you know a university sailing club interested in getting involved, or want to encourage a university team that is based at your club please contact Kate Fortnam, The Green Blue’s Environmental Outreach Officer, at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07900 492192.
To find out more visit www.thegreenblue.org.uk
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