One of the RYA NW Sailing Development Officers, Alan Jones presented the OnBoard membership certification and plaque to the club. His role is to encourage more and more people to become involved in sailing and then grow their skills.

Run by sailing’s National Governing Body, the RYA, OnBoard is a highly successful industry-supported grass roots programme which seeks to make sailing easier to get into for young people. Over a ten year period the programme has already introduced over 500,000 children to sailing in the UK, converting more than 10% into regular participants.

Cat Ferguson, OnBoard Operations Officer, comments; “It’s great to welcome Debdale Outdoor Centre to the OnBoard programme. Sailing is a fantastic sport no matter your age, background or ability. We look forward to working with them and the local community to get as many people as possible enjoying our great sport.”

The Junior Watersports and Activity Club at Debdale is already well attended but club staff want to icrease their numbers by reaching further across the inner city and surrounding areas. They also intend to extend their involvement with disabled and special needs groups locally.

At the helm of the Watersports activities are Martin Ware and Kathryn Partington-Smith who are training six Assistant Dinghy Instructors (ADI's).These additional volunteer make sure the club runs year-round, come rain, snow or shine.

All the adults have been trained to the RYA Safety Boat Qualifaction. The ADI's working closely with centre instructors in duties such as rigging and de-rigging, launch and recovery and deploying the safety boats. At the end of summer, the ADI's will attend a course to become dinghy instructors.

On days when it gets too cold or windy,, these adult volunteers run substitute activities such as the climbing wall or teach sailing theory in the classroom for those working towards RYA certification.

In addition to its OnBoard involvement, the club has formed links with Glossop Sailing Club; a venture that will see both clubs competing against each other in sailing and windsurfing events from 2016.

Debdale youngsters will be taking part in the OnBoard Festival, dinghy-sailing event that brings together many clubs for friendly competition. They will also be able to go to other OnBoard events.OnBoard status will see windsurfers from Debdale club increase their attendace at Team15 events that are organised by the RYA to provide interclub competition and coaching at venues around the region.

The Debdale club held Open Days in 2015 where people could try watersport activities and this lead to new members joining the Saturday club.

The Manchester Community Games takes place in various venues around East Manchester on 26 March. These games are designed to attract young people to sports that they may have never had the opportunity to try before.

All the events are free and of course, Debdale Junior Watersports and Activity Club will be involved, with club members helping all day.