Salcombe Dinghy Sailing (SDS) haswelcomed a landmarkstudy by the Institute of Education at UniversityCollege London (UCL) which has clearly shown that being part of RYAOnBoard (OB) has a positive impact on young people’s lives.
Ross and Zoe Crook who own SalcombeDinghy Sailing (SDS), have been running covid-safe OnBoard youth development sessionssince August with six teenagers who are progressing their sailing skills inpreparation for training as instructors next year. According to Zoe, the fiveboys and one girl are already increasing in confidence and improving theirtechnique, using different areas of the estuary to explore and expand theirexperience of sailing: “The OnBoard sessions are getting them to thinkdifferently about their sailing skills, testing them a bit, and they’rerealising how much they’re improving. These sessions work on all the attributesidentified in the research, including creativity, teamwork, determination, communication, independence andconfidence, all of which are important life skills, and will help to make sure the youngsters become excellent instructorswhen the time comes, as well as well-rounded young adults. The sessions willcontinue from next April, so by June, more of them will have the prospect ofemployment as AIs with us next year.”
Covid-compliance has been animportant consideration in getting the youngsters on the water safely thisyear, allowing Ross and Zoe to plan confidently for further OnBoard activityfrom next April. This will include getting eight local schools involved in teachingchildren to sail, using the OB programme, which links to the school curriculum,and also starting an OB weekend club from April to October, for which 14 localchildren are already signed up.
Run by the RYA, OnBoard is a grassroots programme which introduces sailing and windsurfing to young people aged 8to 18, connecting schools and youth groups with RYA clubs and trainingcentres. The low-cost sessions are designed to promote equal access tosailing for young people from all social and economic backgrounds, whilstencouraging their character development.
Children andSailing: A research evaluation for the Royal Yachting Association and theAndrew Simpson Foundation* was conducted by UCL researchers to examine theconsequences of participation in the OnBoard programme.
The results havehelped to identify how the programme contributes to the development of the RYAOB character attributes: creativity, teamwork, determination, communication,independence and confidence.
It alsohighlights how sailing and windsurfing correlate with benefits identified forphysical activity generally and identifies how RYA OnBoard plays an importantrole in tackling social injustice by providing unique experiences which canhelp to develop self-confidence and open up further opportunities.
*371 young people (aged 8-17), from 19 schools and 14sailing clubs or commercial sailing centres, completed before (baseline) andafter (follow-up) questionnaires to assess the impact of being part of RYAOnBoard. Additionally, 11 instructors, teachers and parents/carers were alsointerviewed by qualitative researchers.