Seven clubs were presented with coveted British Youth Sailing (BYS) Recognised Club status at the RYA Dinghy Show in recognition of their commitment to the future of the sport.
Aimed at supporting junior and youth sailors as they develop racing skills, the initiative has proved popular among clubs throughout the nation with the latest addition taking the total to 51 clubs.
The newest clubs to achieve Recognised Club status include Bosham Sailing Club in Chichester, Docklands Sailing and Watersports Centre in London and Hampshire’s Emsworth Sailing Club.
They are joined by Glossop Sailing Club in Derbyshire, Littleton Sailing Club in Surrey, Pennine Sailing Club in South Yorkshire and Sea View Yacht Club on the Isle of Wight.
Chris Atherton, the RYA’s senior high performance manager, said: “Sailing from a young age and progressing in to racing is the life blood of the sport and ensures its success.
"The response to the Recognised Club scheme has been immense and it doesn’t look like stopping. This means that our programme can flourish through a safe, fun and structured pathway.”
Club representatives were presented with their awards by RYA Director of Racing Ian Walker and double Olympic gold medallist Shirley Robertson.
In order for a club to achieve BYS Recognised Club status it must meet a series of exacting standards.
Clubs should be able to demonstrated that they run a regular race training programme within at least one of the BYS Recognised Classes – the Optimist, Topper, Laser 4.7, Cadet, RS Tera (Sport), RS Feva XL and BIC Techno windsurfer at junior level, and 29er, 420, Laser Radial, Laser Standard, Nacra 15 multihull and RS:X windsurfer at youth level.
Also, to be a BYS Recognised Club, their sailors must compete at BYS Regional Junior Championships at least once every two years with training delivered by qualified RYA Coaches.
The Recognised Clubs scheme replaces the long-running Champion Clubs programme which came to an end at the start of 2018.
For information about how to become a British Youth Sailing Recognised Club, click here.
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