Some 18 Sailability and OnBoard venues throughout England will receive individual grants of up to £10,000 for projects that aim to tackle inequalities in sport and help reduce the negative impact of COVID-19.
The £150,000 ofNational Lottery Funding was awarded to the RYA from the Sport England’s Tackling Inequalities Fund which benefits organisations running projects that engage with lower socio-economic groups, ethnically diverse communities, disabled people and people with long term health conditions.
In the Liverpool City Region, which has one of the highest levels of deprivation in the country, Crosby Lakeside Adventure Centre are using their funding to offer highly subsidised windsurfing and Sailability sessions to help make the sports more accessible to a wider audience.
The funding is also giving the centre the potential to offer opportunitiesfor young adults to train to be instructors in exchange for voluntary work once qualified.
Simon Pendlebury, Development Manager at the centre said:“Windsurfing has been in a steady decline for a number of years, without more investment in the sport there’s a risk that it could fade away completely. Project’s like this will hopefully engage with a new cohort of budding windsurfers and allow more people the opportunity to experience the thrill windsurfing provides.”
Another venue awarded funding is Croydon Sailing Club (CSC) with a project in conjunction with Croydon Youth and Schools Sailing Association (CYSSA) to provide sailing opportunities through Scout groups for youngsters living in deprived areas surrounding the club.
Having found that many local youngsters don’t possess suitable outdoor clothing for water sports, the club has also used the funding to purchase a large selection of waterproof outfits including footwear to keep children dry and comfortable.
Janice Beaumont, Training Centre Principal at Croydon SC, adds: “We want the first taster session to be an enjoyable experience so that participants can come back to join in regular sessions. Funding has enabled us to achieve this aim.”
The clubs and centres to be awarded Tackling Inequalities Funding are:
Hengistbury Head Outdoor Education Centre
Crosby Lakeside Adventure Centre
Croydon Sailing Club
Lincoln & District Sailing Association
Salford Watersports Centre
Midland Sailing Club
The Nancy Oldfield Trust
Lancashire Outdoor Activities Initiative
Plymouth Youth Sailing
Westminster Boating Base
Islington Boat Club
Andrew Simpson Foundation
All Aboard Watersports Centre
Cobnor Activities Centre Trust
Tees &Hartlepool Yacht Club
Docklands Sailing and Watersports Centre
RYA Director of Sport Development, Alistair Dicksonconcludes: “We’re delighted to be able to share this funding with so many deserving OnBoard and Sailability organisations. The venues selected are all going to be running fantastic projects and we look forward to hearing about the impact that they will have on the club or centre and on the underrepresented communities in which they aim to reach.”
Find more information about the RYA Sailability and RYA OnBoard programmes.