The grants are for projects that aim to tackle inequalities in sport and help reduce the negative impact of COVID-19.
The £150,000 of National Lottery Funding was awarded to the RYA from the Sport England Tackling Inequalities Fund which benefits organisations running projects that engage with lower socio-economic groups, ethnically diverse communities, disabled people and people with long term health conditions.
DWSC, a Charitable Trust in East London, has an excellent track record of providing watersports to ethnically diverse communities (EDC), lower socio-economic and disabled groups. The centre provides activities for over 30 different organisations with over 1200 sessional places each year. Disability Sessions take place from April to September and can cater for up to 300 sessional places.
The majority of children and groups that attend DSWC are from EDC and underprivileged areas. Tower Hamlets, where DSWC is located, has the highest child poverty rate in the UK at 57% (Trust For London, 2018).
Simon Conway from the centre says: “We haven’t run all our youth programme this year due to Covid-19, but with the help of the funding we’re offering weekly, and from April twice weekly sailing, windsurfing and kayaking sessions between January and June 2021, accessible to all 8-16 year olds in the community.”
Participants can buy membership for £30 per year, or free for children from low income families, which gives them access to all of the sessions from January to June. Or participants can pay £5 per session.
The centre also has part and fully funded places on its school holiday programme, with the aim to have at least 30% of participants on discounted or free places.
RYA Director of Sport Development, Alistair Dickson concludes: “We’re delighted to be able to share this funding with so many deserving OnBoard and Sailability organisations. The venues selected are all going to be running fantastic projects and we look forward to hearing about the impact that they will have on the club or centre and on the underrepresented communities in which they aim to reach.”