The boats will be available
as club training boats, both for training sessions and for members to borrow for
racing at WWSC and in other Harbour Clubs in a bid to appeal to members aged 13
Participation by teenage members of
the club was declining, despite the fact that more than 60 younger children participate
in summer events in a large fleet of Toppers and Lasers, the result of focussed
efforts to develop a junior sailing programme over the past nine years.
Before the arrival of the new
Fevas, WWSC had been unable to offer teenagers the opportunity to move up into
bigger, more exciting, two-person boats.
Anna Hardy of WWSC explained “We spoke to the
RYA regional development officer who met us on site and discussed options for
our future. The RYA really encouraged us and guided us through the process of
applying for a grant,”
“Retaining teenagers in any sport
is always a challenge and we really see this in our club with a huge divide
between the Junior Topper section and main club racing,” she added. “We hope these boats will help to bridge that
gap and help us to keep our teenagers on the water, having fun, learning new
skills and competing.”
As this is the first time the club
has owned training boats, it also creates a wonderful opportunity for WWSC to
encourage children from the local school to visit the club and ‘have a go’.
plan to offer an open day later in the year and possibly work with West
Wittering Primary School to create opportunities for young local children to
experience sailing. These club owned RS
Fevas will make this possible for the first time”.
This is an exciting time for WWSC. Although a small, local club, limited by
tidal waters and working within the fragile, natural environment off East Head,
it is moving forward and looking to the future with the help of organisations
such as Sport England and the RYA.