Learning and development bursaries awarded to Midlands clubs

Small grants scheme to grow capacity and participation ​
14 May 24

Nine people of all ages waving on the pontoon at Trimpley SC with a boat behind them with its white sail as a backdrop.

Eight sailing clubs across the Midlands have been awarded grants from a new regional fund to support training and engagement.

RYA Midlands Learning & Development Bursaries provide support for training and projects to help get more people on the water.

Launched by the RYA Midlands Regional Team, the bursaries offer grants of up to £250 for individuals and £1,000 for clubs, centres and groups, to cover up to 60% of the costs for training or capacity-building initiatives.

Bursary administrator Andrew Yates said: “It was pleasing to see so many applications for the first round of funding from our RYA Midlands Learning & Development Bursaries.

“There was a lot of interest and we received a wide range of ideas from clubs wanting to make the most of the opportunity to support and grow their activities.

“We hope these small grants will make a big difference towards helping clubs create an inclusive, sustainable and vibrant future for the sport in the Midlands.”

Instructor boost

Among the clubs receiving funding during the 2024 round of allocations was Northampton Sailing Club, which was awarded an £800 grant.

This will support the continued growth of the club’s youth and junior section, which seen an increase in participants over two years from 10 to 75 for this season, including more than 25 children on its windsurfing programme.

Activities will include qualifying six club volunteers as RYA Windsurf Instructors, which as Training Principal Tom Powell explained in the club’s application will provide a “huge positive impact for the club, the volunteers and the youth members”.

In line with the RYA’s Together on Water strategy, the aim of the grants is to encourage and grow inclusive participation across all aspects of boating in the region, including racing, cruising, board sports, Sailability, OnBoard and youth and junior activities.

Fleet of variety of dinghies on flat water light wind day at Covenham SC with sunshine and reflections on the water.

Picture: Covenham Sailing Club

RYA Midlands Learning & Development Bursaries were also awarded to:

  • Glossop Sailing Club in Derbyshire: £600 towards its Sailing Forward Together project to help revitalise its OnBoard provision for young sailors and reintroduce a junior section, including six days delivered by an RYA trainer to develop skills and encourage volunteers to become instructors.
  • Trimpley Sailing Club in Worcestershire: (pictured top, credit Simon Yeomans) £500 to support volunteer qualifications to give the club an additional RYA Dinghy Instructor, RYA Senior Instructor and RYA Race Coach Level 2, to develop the club’s team and enhance sailing and racing pathways for training and retaining junior members.
  • Sutton Sailing Club in the West Midlands: £100 for an individual to complete an RYA Powerboat Instructor course, in turn enabling more volunteers to undertake powerboat qualifications through the availability of in-house training and sessions for the club’s growing female membership.
  • Himley Hall Sailing Club in the Black Country: £1,000 towards ‘Fun on the Water’ sessions in partnership with local Scouts groups, supporting the club to reach out to young people, build ties with the local community and attract a much-needed younger demographic.
  • Blithfield Sailing Club in Staffordshire: £1,000 to grow windsurfing and winging, supporting delivery of an RYA Windsurf Instructor course for up to 8 candidates, and training of a Wingsurf/Wingfoil Instructor and RYA Intermediate Windsurf Instructor, alongside in-house training of Assistant Instructors.
  • Middle Nene Sailing Club in Northamptonshire: £1,000 to support the club’s youth racing team, including refurbishment of three Topper dinghies to increase the availability of club-owned boats for new youth sailors to use for training and racing.
  • Covenham Sailing Club in Lincolnshire:  £980 towards expanding the training team, enabling six members to qualify as RYA Dinghy Instructors to support activities and sustainability by encouraging people from the local community to learn to sail and join.

Get set for next year

The fund will be open again for applications from clubs in the region between 1 January-31 March 2025. Find out more at RYA Midlands Learning & Development Bursaries.

Junior Topper dinghies with red white and blue sails on the lake at Trimpley Sailing Club with green grass shoreline and blue skies.

Picture: Himley Hall Sailing Club