The Worshipful Mayor of Kettering, Cllr Jim Hakewill, enjoyed a taste of the great outdoors as he officially opened new £56,500 clubhouse and training facilities at Cransley Sailing Club, which are set to provide even more sailing opportunities for the local community this year.
He was joined by Member of Parliament for Kettering, Philip Hollobone MP.
Cllr Hakewill joined Cransley SC members to cut the ribbon on the new facilities, funded by Sports England's Inspired Facilities Olympic legacy fund (£50,000) and the Mick George Community Fund (£6,500).
The money has enabled the transformation of the club's changing room facilities and added a much-needed training room, while the clubhouse stairs and veranda have been replaced.
As a result Cransley SC, near Kettering, will be able to offer even more, and improved, sailing opportunities to the local community, both for newcomers and people looking to return to the sport after a break away, as well as its current members.
Rhiain Bevan, Cransley SC Commodore, explains: "Having welcoming, comfortable facilities is a key part of people enjoying their early experiences in a sport and enjoyment is the only thing that is going to keep them coming back to the club regularly. The new training room will also allow all theory instruction for our training courses to be kept separate from the distractions of the main clubhouse, making it more convenient for everyone, both those undertaking our courses and other club users.
"When Lord Coe talked about the post-London 2012 'legacy' these are the sorts of projects that will hopefully provide the foundations and the opportunities for more people to get involved in sailing in Northamptonshire for many years to come. One of the best things about sailing is there is always something new to learn, which really lends itself to a lifetime of enjoyment on the water."
Charles Johnston, Sport England's Property Director, said: "Good sports facilities play an important role in local communities; improving people's sporting experience and helping attract new participants. The popularity of this fund has exceeded expectations showing an appetite from clubs nationwide to celebrate the legacy the Olympic and Paralympic Games."
Cransley SC is a recognised RYA Training Centre meaning it conforms to the highest standards of quality and safety. The new facilities are part of Cransley SC's overall strategy to get more local people sailing more regularly in 2013.
Cransley SC is running adult RYA Start Sailing courses in June, while youngsters from local schools and youth groups will learn the ropes as part of RYA OnBoard - the national grassroots initiative providing low cost sailing opportunities for kids aged 8-18 - from April. RYA Start Sailing provides all you need to know to get afloat and learn the foundation skills to be able to sail.
The club is also running a new RYA Go Sailing programme of activities throughout 2013, to encourage people who want to return to the sport, or practice recently learnt skills, to take advantage of increased opportunities at their local club, and enjoy instruction and coaching sessions plus supported sailing and social sailing sessions.
On Saturday 18 May (11am to 4pm) anyone, regardless of age, gender or experience, is invited to attend the club's FREE open day to get a first taste of sailing with an experienced club member, enjoy getting to grips with one of the club's boats or simply sample the social side of life at Cransley SC. Club sailors will be in Kettering town centre on Saturday 10 May to promote the club's open day and the June RYA learn to sail course.
Cransley SC is one of hundreds of projects across England benefitting from lottery investment through the Sport England Inspired Facilities fund, which is investing millions of pounds in helping local community sports groups to upgrade their facilities.
For full details of everything going on at Cransley Sailing Club this year visit www.cransley.org.uk
or follow the club on Twitter @cransleysailing