Datchet Water Sailing Club (DWSC) is celebrating after winning a national award in recognition of its commitment to the environment.
The club, which is based at the Queen Mother Reservoir in Royal Berkshire, was crowned 'Green Club of the Year' at the 2017 Club Mirror Club Awards held at Doncaster Racecourse and hosted by BBC sports broadcaster John Inverdale.
Now in their 26th year, the Club Awards celebrate the pivotal role that clubs of all types play in their communities and for their members. From just under 1,000 entries, finalists were singled out for excellence across 28 categories.
Head of Judges, Caroline Scoular, said: “Congratulations to Datchet Water Sailing Club for winning the highly competitive 'Green Club of the Year' Award.
“The Judging Panel was hugely impressed with the club's unwavering commitment to reducing its carbon footprint, which it has achieved through putting in several new eco-friendly systems at its clubhouse, including installing double glazing, solar panels, new boilers, roof insulation and a heating system which uses the reservoir as a heat source.
“They were the first club in the country to run a Royal Yachting Association educational initiative which aims to educate young children about the impact that sailing has on the environment – the Marine CSI Challenge – as part of the 'Push the Boat Out' scheme.
“The club also works closely with The Green Blue, a joint environment initiative created by British Marine and the RYA to encourage a more sustainable recreational boating sector.”
Spreading the word
Datchet Water's General Manager, Gabrielle Boase, added: “We're absolutely delighted to be recognised in these national awards as 'Green Club of the Year'.
“Sailing is fundamentally a green sport and we operate a green clubhouse at Datchet Water. Spreading the word about environmental impact and sustainability with our younger sailors and newcomers to the sport is helping to keep our waters clean and safe.
“Engaging with them also creates a long-lasting impact for the club by helping to ensure even more people make sailing part of their future.”
Go green for 2018
The Green Blue has lots of practical advice, leaflets and teaching resources to help clubs make environmental improvements, enhance their green credentials and even save money.
Kate Fortnam, Campaign Manager for The Green Blue, explains: "There is so much that clubs and training centres can do to reduce their impact and help to educate members and students to be sensitive to and respectful of our waters, both coastal and inland.
"Clubs and training centres play an especially important role in educating the new boater as lessons learnt during their first RYA course are likely to become good habits throughout their boating life.
"By working together and taking the voluntary approach we can enhance water sports enjoyment, avoid red tape and build a more sustainable sector."
For more information, visit https://www.thegreenblue.org.uk/Clubs-and-Training-Centres