Notts County 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.

Notts County SC was recognised for being a safe and fun environment for youngsters to flourish. Around 140 youngsters are involved in regular junior and youth activity at the Hoveringham Reservoir club, with 20 of these part of the its Junior Race Squad, which regularly feeds youngsters into the RYA’s regional Zone and National Junior and Youth squads on the pathway to Olympic classes sailing.

In September, 14 young Notts County sailors and windsurfers competed at the Midlands’ BYS Regional Junior Championships in Northampton, with William Thomas and Molly Hinsliff-Smith winning the boys and girls titles in the competitive 45-strong Topper one-person dinghy class fleet.

Meanwhile, in the BIC Techno windsurfing fleets, Mollie Sprekley was top girl in her class and Duncan Monaghan second in his, in their first season of serious racing. The club also had 11 sailors at the 2018 Topper UK National Championships at the London 2012 Olympic sailing venue in Weymouth and Portland.

Adrian Jones, Notts County SC Commodore, said: "Notts County SC has a long tradition of a high level of club and national racing and takes an inclusive approach to encourage junior and youth racing.

"We're rather unique in that we combine dinghy racing and windsurfing across our sailing programme and have specific provisions in all our series' for juniors to participate either in their own class or in the adult fleet, often showing the adults the way!

"This ethos has been developed over many years, but with our current organisation, enthusiastic volunteers and facilities we've been able to do this on an increasing scale. Gaining British Youth Sailing Recognised Club status underlines the totality of our commitment to encouraging and developing current and future sailors."

In 2018, Notts County SC was recognised as Britain’s best sailing club by being named the RYA and Yachts & Yachting Club of the Year. To help introduce more local youngsters to sailing and to give them opportunities to enjoy and achieve in a different activity, the club runs the RYA's grassroots sailing and windsurfing programme, OnBoard, which caters for around 120 youngsters in its junior Saturday Club.

It also runs the windsurfing development programme Team15, recently invested in 12 new boats to increase its capacity and scope of its junior racing activities and has well-established links with the University of Nottingham.

Chris Atherton, RYA Senior High Performance Manager, said: “BYS Recognised Club status distinguishes 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 Notts County Sailing Club visit http://ncsc.org.uk or for British Youth Sailing go to www.rya.org.uk/racing/youth-junior