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Becoming a RYA Champion Club 

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The RYA constantly works in partnership with sailing clubs through the RYA Champion Club Scheme to help them establish or enhance their junior race training programmes.

The key challenge for the sport is to encourage more young people to start participating in sailing and then progressing with their racing careers. This is best done at Club level and a successful Junior and Youth Programme will enable a club to flourish.

 As a RYA Champion Club, your club would enjoy the support and help of the RYA in achieving its aims. RYA Champion Clubs are entitled to a series of benefits, including development advice and support from their local RYA High Performance Manager on:

  • Continuously recruiting young sailors into the sport at the right age for them to have the best chances of achieving success in the future.
  • Recruiting, training and contracting in coaches to support the delivery of club programmes.
  • Providing a safe training and racing environment.
  • Increasing the level of parental volunteer support.
  • Making the best use of the Class Open Training programmes and open competition circuits.
  • The structure of the club programme to optimise the development of young sailors and retain them.
  • Promoting the programme.
  • Securing additional financial support resources.

In addition, the RYA (to be accessed via your local HPM) will provide access to the following benefits:

  • The accreditation and branding of an RYA Centre of Excellence
  • Access to best practice workshops on a range of topics delivered locally at RYA Club and Coach Conferences
  • Assistance and expert advice in compiling a club development plan in order to enable clubs to meet their objectives
  • Consultancy and support from your local HPM
  • RYA newsletters, keeping clubs, coaches, and sailors up to date with all the latest developments and forthcoming events in junior racing.
  • Accreditation. All RYA Champion Clubs receive the commemorative club plaque, flag and official branding rights
  • The opportunity to develop links to gain additional financial support

 For further details on the process of becoming a RYA Champion Club, or if you are an existing Champion Club who would like further information on the scheme, please contact the High Performance Manager for your Zone.

What does my club have to do to become a champion club?

A RYA Champion Club is a club which continually introduces young people into racing with a view to:

  • Developing their enthusiasm and talent so that as many as possible gain places in the RYA Zone/ Home Country Squads.
  • Encouraging and supporting their ongoing development within the RYA Junior and Youth Sailing Programme.

RYA Champion Clubs should have the human and physical resources to achieve these aims.

As a RYA Champion Club, the club will enjoy the support and help of the RYA and be entitled to a range of benefits created for RYA Champion Clubs (see above).

Your local RYA High Performance Manager will assist your club to develop and meet the criteria and guidelines laid out below.


In making awards, the RYA High Performance Managers will be looking to ensure that Clubs:

1.) Provide a structured Junior Race Training Programme in a minimum of one RYA Recognised Junior Class - Optimist, BIC Techno 293 OD, Topper, Cadet, RS Feva, RS Tera and Laser 4.7.

The programme should:

  • Provide regular, class specific racing and coaching.
  • Comprise a minimum of one Start Racing and Intermediate Racing course per season.
  • Encourage sailors to attend relevant open training and competition meetings.
  • Encourage sailors to attend RYA Zone Squad qualifiers, RYA Zone and Home Country Championships and other relevant Class Association events

2.) Guide their promising youngsters into the recognised youth classes at the appropriate age.

3.) Have sufficient numbers of a recognised junior class of boat (members or club owned), equipment and qualified personnel to achieve the aims of partnership.

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