OnBoard youngsters celebrate at Broadstairs
Olympic themed celebrations at Broadstairs SC
Broadstairs Sailing Club played host to the Kent OnBoard Festival last Saturday (28 July) when sixteen youngsters between 7 and 14 years old took part in a sunny day of fun and competition on the water.
The kids all came from clubs in the area which participate in the OnBoard Scheme, including Broadstairs Sailing Club, Downs Sailing Club and Margate Yacht Club. Each child has only been sailing since last year.
The morning was spent learning to sail, based from the beach at the club. Some fun challenges were set out on the water in RS Tera dinghies, as well as beach games, and an Olympic Torch Relay race! Dinghy manufacturers RS Sailing provided the three RS Tera dinghies for the event.
The young sailors enjoyed a teamwork game of ‘Tera Limbo’, trying to get their fully rigged Tera under the 2 ft high ‘limbo’ (about 2ft high). On the water they reached up and down a course, during which each sailor was given a number of challenges, including standing up, running to the front of their boat and even performing ‘Heads, Shoulders Knees and Toes’ on the foredeck!
In the Torch Relay, and inspired by the Opening Ceremony the night before, the competitors had to take their inflatable torch around a simple course on their boats. The wind had died off so a lot of team work and hard graft was required! Sam Chick, Training Principle of Broadstairs Sailing Club said "
It was wonderful to host an Onboard Festival at Broadstairs Sailing Club, mixing young beginners jumping into boats for the first time with racing juniors who have progressed through the scheme into RYA zone squads and national events.
It's a clear illustration that the system works - a big thank you to Onboard and the RYA for their hard work and enthusiasm." He added “We had some young volunteers helping out too. Like the OnBoard kids they have also progressed through the RYA training squads.”
Sam Rowe, the OnBoard Development Officer, who organised the event said “It was great to see sixteen young people take part in this event. The weather has not played ball at all this year, and with such a harsh exposed coastline in East Kent most OnBoard clubs have struggled to get new young sailors out on to the water. In particular I would like to thank all of the volunteers from Broadstairs Sailing club for their efforts and enthusiasm on the day.”
Run by the RYA, OnBoard is a grass roots programme which introduces sailing and windsurfing to young people aged 8 to 18, through schools, youth groups and training centres.
Over a ten year period OnBoard aims to introduce a minimum of 500,000 children to sailing and windsurfing in the UK, converting over 10% of them into regular participants.
So far it’s nicely on track. For more information about how to get involved in sailing visit the RYA’s website www.rya.org.uk or the OnBoard website www.ruob.co.uk