Chris Heaton-Harris, Member of Parliament for Daventry, joined more than 100 first time sailors as Hollowell SC opened its doors to Push The Boat Out on Saturday (12 May).

Almost 200 locals descended on the Northamptonshire club, with more than 120 of those getting afloat and enjoying a free taster sail. Mr Heaton-Harris MP was one of those who took to the water in light winds as he spent a couple of hours at Hollowell encouraging others to give sailing a go and promoting the benefits of getting active outdoors. He also had a go at model yachting.

Although the event officially opened at 11am, people were arriving up to an hour earlier keen not to miss the chance to give sailing a go.

Clive de la Fuente, Hollowell SC Commodore, said: "It's days like this that make me tremendously proud to be involved here. Everyone pulled together to make this event a success and the results speak for themselves.”

Hollowell was the last of four Northamptonshire clubs who ran events as part of the national Push The Boat Out ‘have a go’ festival of sailing and windsurfing throughout May. However, if you didn’t manage to make it along to one of these, Northampton SC and Northampton Sailability at Pitsford Reservoir are giving families and people of all abilities the chance to Try Sailing at their free open day on Saturday 2 June (10am-4pm).

Taster sessions will run for sailing, windsurfing and powerboating, with Northampton Sailability having a range of specially-adapted boats available for people with disabilities to discover the freedom of getting active afloat. For more information go to www.northamptonsailingclub.org

New research commissioned by boating’s national governing body, the RYA, shows a quarter of people have never tried an outdoor pursuit, yet two in four want to be more active and nearly a third want to get more fresh air*. Over 22,000 people regularly go along to their local sailing club every month across the Midlands, sailing small sailboats or windsurfing.

Meanwhile as part of their 2015 Getting Active Outdoors campaign, Sport England found people enjoy outdoor pursuits for many reasons, including spending time with family, having fun with friends, being closer to nature, taking advantage of the fresh air and relaxing and getting away from modern life. Some 40% of people said they would prefer to do their exercise outdoors.