Glossop Sailing Club has been awarded a prestigious national quality mark recognising its commitment to helping Britain develop and retain the best young racing sailors and windsurfers in the world,

The British Youth Sailing (BYS) Recognised Club scheme celebrates excellence in nurturing future sailing stars with the sport’s governing body, the RYA, working alongside clubs around the country to promote grassroots sailing and support junior and youth sailors as they develop racing skills.

Glossop was recognised for being a safe and fun environment for youngsters to flourish in sailing and windsurfing. More than 60 youngsters are involved in regular junior and youth activity at the Torside Reservoir club, with seven part of regional RYA Zone Squads, the first rung on the ladder to Olympic classes sailing.

In September, 11-year-old Jessica Perrin and Rebecca Hall, 15, won ‘first girl’ trophies at the RYA/UKWA National Windsurfing Championships, while the club’s windsurfing team, the Glossop Gladiators, took the Midlands’ RYA Team15 Regional Inter-Club title. In the same month, David Doyle, 17 and Louis Kidger, 14, won the prestigious Stanley Leach Cup at the Southport 24 Hour Race.

Glossop will be presented with their BYS Recognised Club flag, plaque and certificate at the RYA Dinghy Show at Alexandra Palace, London this Sunday (3 March), the same weekend that they will discover if they have been won the national 2019 RYA and Yachts & Yachting Club of the Year Award. Glossop SC Commodore, Viki Packman, also celebrates her 60th birthday this weekend.

Viki said: “It really has been quite the year for the club and the RYA Dinghy Show could end up being quite the party! We really are extremely pleased to gain BYS Recognised Club status as it is underlines our commitment to encouraging and developing current and future sailors and windsurfers.

"We've had an established Junior pathway for several years. Every spring we offer free sailing and windsurfing taster sessions to local schools, through our involvement in the RYA’s grassroots OnBoard programme, and every summer that is extended to local Cubs, Scouts, Guides and Explorer groups.

"Girls and boys all sail together and compete together and are supported to become assistant instructors and to qualify as instructors should they wish to, making our activities sustainable while ensuring the next generation are inspired by those who have gone before them."

The club’s junior OnBoard Friday night and Saturday morning clubs are where they can hone their skills while Glossop’s annual summer Junior week is also very popular, aiding progression at all levels, and including regular racing skill sessions.

Those youngsters who want to develop their racing skills can then attended regular race training in dinghy sailing and windsurfing at the club, getting the chance to compete across the region and further afield.

Chris Atherton, RYA Senior High Performance Manager, said: “The status distinguishes those clubs with a commitment to the development of junior and youth racing and race training, delivered in a safe and fun environment. Sailing’s key challenge is to encourage more young people to start participating and progress into racing. This is best done at clubs and successful junior and youth programmes enable a club to flourish."

Mark Nicholls, RYA Youth Racing Manager, added: “We’re delighted with the response to the Recognised Club scheme. Within a year we already have 40 clubs from across the nation that have really impressed us and caught our attention by their commitment to developing the future of our sport. It has filled us with a lot of confidence that the future of sailing is in good hands through quality youth and junior training and racing.”

To gain BYS Recognised Club status, a club must run a regular race training programme in at least one of the BYS recognised junior and/or youth dinghy and windsurfing classes and its sailors must compete at BYS Regional Junior Championships at least once every two years.

Training must be delivered by qualified RYA Coaches to RYA Recognised Training Centre standards or equivalent, with a Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy in place. To find out more about Glossop Sailing Club visit www.sail-glossop.org.uk or for British Youth Sailing go to www.rya.org.uk/racing/youth-junior