Alina first took to the water through the OnBoard programme for young sailors and Greenbank Primary School who worked with Hollingworth Lake Water Activity Centre to give pupils the chance to get out on the water.
Alina was so taken with sailing that she took part in the North West OnBoard 6 hour race and her mother and sisters joined Hollingworth Lake Sailing Club. However, during 2020 with the Covid restrictions there haven't been club boats that she could use.
In the coming year that will no longer be a problem so she will be able to go out, improve her skills and even travel to competitions. After two years the boat, a Topper class, will be owned by the club.
"I'm very happy to be awarded this boat and I just want to say thanks", said Alina.
Her mother, Niazmine Mcguirk, said they were both surprised and excited by the award. They love the outdoors, being physically active and the thrill and adventure that brings. "I am a single mother of four children and cannot afford to buy Alina a boat of her own. I am keen to support Alina’s sailing in whatever ways I can, including travelling to events at other clubs."
Launched in 2013, the partnership between the John Merricks Sailing Trust and RYA OnBoard supports youngsters who display enthusiasm, drive, talent and commitment to the sport and who may not ordinarily have the opportunity or financial backing to achieve their goals. The RYA is delighted to announce that the JMST and OnBoard partnership will continue for another three years.
Hannah Cockle, RYA OnBoard Operations Officer, said: "We cannot thank JMST enough for continuing to support the programme. Over the next three years, £110,000 worth of funding will be going into junior sailing. This money will have a direct impact to the recipients lucky enough to be awarded a boat - they can now feel confident that they will be able to continue their progression in the sport.
"It is such a thrill telling the sailors and their families they have been successful because we know what a difference getting a boat or board will make to their lives. OnBoard is all about making it easier and affordable to get more young people aged 8-18 on the water regularly and that is what the JMST partnership helps us to achieve".
Run by the RYA, OnBoard is a grass roots programme which introduces sailing and windsurfing to young people aged 8 to 18, through schools, youth groups and training centres.
The low cost sessions are designed to promote equal access to sailing for young people from all social and economic backgrounds, whilst encouraging their character development.