OnBoard gives anyone aged 8-18 the chance to learn to sail or windsurf by providing low cost opportunities for schools, youth groups and families to have fun afloat.
What sailing can do for young people goes beyond the notion of ‘sport’; it’s everything else that comes from being on the water in a boat or on a board.
As well as the physical and mental benefits of having fun in the fresh air outdoors, a landmark project between the RYA and Professor Bill Lucas, Director of the Centre for Real-World Learning and Professor of Learning at the University of Winchester, identified how sailing nurtures key life skills and character strengths in young people.
These strengths are confidence, teamwork, communication, determination, independence and creativity, and this is why Medway Yacht Club is excited to get OnBoard for 2020.
Hannah Cockle, the RYA’s OnBoard Operations Officer, commented: “It’s great to welcome Medway Yacht Club to the OnBoard programme. Getting out on the water has a huge amount of benefits, no matter what your age, background or ability. We look forward to working with them and the local community to get as many people as possible enjoying our great sport.”
Inti Guaschino, Training Manager for the club, added: “Sailing is a great sport. It presents physical and intellectual challenges, increases self-reliance and confidence, and develops a connection with the outdoor environment. Sailing is not always about being the strongest, the lightest or the fastest, it is often being the smartest, making the right choices.
“The RYA OnBoard programme gives us the chance to reach out to our community and offer the young people a whole new adventure.”
Run by sailing’s national governing body the RYA, OnBoard works to make sure anyone who wants to sail or windsurf, regardless of ability or background, can.
OnBoard isn’t about producing champions, although many youngsters do go on to excel in dinghy and windsurf racing, it is about local youngsters discovering what an exciting, challenging, sociable or simply relaxing outdoor activity sailing can be.
Medway Yacht Club is a recognised RYA Training Centre, meaning it conforms to the highest standards of safety and quality.
Since 2005, OnBoard has helped over 900,000 young people try sailing and windsurfing and learn an activity that often stays with them for life.
For more information about how to get involved in sailing visit www.rya.org.uk/go/onboard.