Individuals and families who would not normally have the chance to go sailing are being invited to get on the water with Tees & Hartlepool Yacht Club thanks to Sport England funding.
The club has been awarded a grant of £7,280 from the Sport England Tackling Inequalities Fund, which aims to reduce widening gaps in activity levels and the negative impact of Coronavirus.
Working with the local authority, the club already provides courses and tuition at heavily subsidised rates to make sailing accessible for local people in the Hartlepool area, including through schools, disability groups and charities like Age Concern.
The Sport England grant will now enable the club to provide additional opportunities for people with disabilities or who might otherwise be unable to afford a sailing course.
The project will give 20 people the chance to learn how to sail for free with an RYA Level 1 and 2 course and fund a year’s membership of the club, enabling participants to access boats, equipment and regular sessions to further develop their skills and enjoy being on the water.
Club Development Officer Micky Early said: “This Sport England grant will give people who would not usually have a chance to go sailing, an opportunity to learn how to sail and also have a long-term pathway to continue in the sport, either individually or as a family.
“Going into the 2021 sailing season, the project will help more people take part in regular sailing and boost club activity as well as the mental and physical wellbeing of those taking part. For children, sailing also offers the chance to learn life skills like teamwork, confidence and resilience.
“We will provide the equipment, tuition and club membership, all we need now are 20 people who might have thought sailing was out of their reach, who would like to give it a go!”
Tees & Hartlepool Yacht Club invites anyone who might be interested to get in touch.
The RYA was awarded £150,000 of National Lottery Funding from Sport England’s Tackling Inequalities Fund to support sailing clubs and centres across the UK with projects to reduce the negative impact of Covid-19 and the widening gaps in sport and physical levels.
Tim Hollingsworth, Sport England’s Chief Executive, said: “We are proud to be able to provide funding and support the RYA in this difficult period. This funding will help support our valuable community infrastructure that is so important in keeping the nation active and will also provide important connections and reconnections for people whose lives have been affected by Covid-19 and for whom remaining active is so important for their physical, mental and social wellbeing.”