With thanks to the PLA and Active Thames for letting us reproduce this story.
Headed by the Deptford-based charity AHOY Centre, this will combat the shortage of dinghy sailing instructors across London and support people into coaching who might not otherwise have been able to afford to do so.
Previously, people have had to travel to other areas to get qualified as there are few providers offering the training in London. This has added extra costs for young people, who may already have been struggling to finance the course. Instructors are paramount for charities like The AHOY Centre, who run community sailing and rowing projects, and always want to get more people active on the water.
Of the eleven who took part in the Easter course, three passed on assessment day and the remaining eight agreed action plans with their instructors so that they can retake the assessment again in the coming weeks, hopefully qualifying in time for summer sailing activities.
Zak Riat, chief instructor from The AHOY Centre said: “The AHOY Centre is right on the river, we have good kit and equipment, and we have lots of people wanting to get on the water. However, we’re a small team and often short on having enough freelance and in-house instructors available to deliver sessions. This creates a bottleneck on our ability to deliver our community programmes, so this new programme will help change that.”
The qualifications gained from the programme are Powerboat Level 2, RYA First Aid, RYA Safe and Fun, and RYA Level 2 sailing which was run at Docklands Sailing and Watersports Centre, with support from their instructors too.
Participants had varied levels of experience, from competitive sailors to assistant coaches wanting to make a step up, as well as those had simply enjoyed sailing with their school.
Amber-Rose Bains, an AHOY apprentice who took part in the programme said: “Personally, my sailing skills shot up during the course. My sailing has always been good, but this course gave me confidence in my own skills and abilities. It was a lot of fun as well as learning new skills.”
Commenting on the programme, Dan O’Sullivan, fundraising manager from the AHOY said: “This has been new and exciting for us. We are confident in our standards and that we can deliver in partnership with others. We’re keen to work in collaboration to have as much impact as possible across London and would love to run this course annually, to the benefit of AHOY and other sites.”
Find out more about:
The AHOY Centre and the work they do
Active Thames and its activities in your area
RYA instructor training in our region