Pennine Sailing Club has been recognised for its commitment
to helping Britain develop the best young racing sailors in the world.
It has gained British Youth Sailing
(BYS) Recognised Club status as part of a national RYA accreditation scheme which works with
clubs to support junior sailors and encourage them to stay in the sport.
In order for a club to be considered for BYS Recognised Club status it must meet a series of exacting standards, and Pennine SC was found to provide a safe and fun environment for youngsters to develop both their enthusiasm for sailing and their racing skills.
Its Kidz@Pen9 group and Pen9 Top Squad groups provide a wide range of sailing opportunities with coaching for all levels, from those with no previous sailing experience right up to feeding promising young sailors into the RYA's Zone Squads and National Junior and Youth Squads, which coach Britain's up and coming talent.
Commodore Peter Van Ruiten, who is also an instructor at the club, said:"We provide a very open, family-friendly atmosphere, and try to get parents as well as children involved. We encourage children and young people to have a fun time while also learning to sail, and enable those who want to take it further to then aspire to a level where they can compete at regional, national, European or world championships."
The club runs Friday evening sessions for junior and youth sailors, which start again on 03 May 2019, with around 40 to 45 participants aged six to 17, and there is a popular Kids Week every August combining games and treasure hunts with training and coaching for children to work through their RYA certificates.
For the club's top youth sailors there has also been a series of one-day winter coaching sessions with the British Sailing Team's Elliot Hanson, who uses his world-class expertise in the Olympic Laser class to show how they can improve their performance.
Among the club's current crop of rising stars are Austin Wright and siblings Oliver and Chloe Mills, who between them took three of the top five places in the Topper dinghy fleet at the 2018 British Youth Sailing North Championships at Ullswater. The trio have all been in RYA squads and Oliver and Austin went to last year's Topper worlds in China.
The club has its own fleet of single and doublehanded dinghies for junior and youth sailors to hire and also engages young people by inviting four Scout or Guide groups to an evening taster session during the summer, enabling up to 30 in each unit to try sailing while also working towards one of their badges.
Pennine Sailing Club is an RYA Recognised Training Centre, running sailing courses for all ages and abilities, and is only the fourth club in the region to also gain BYS Recognised Club status for youth sailing, joining North Lincolnshire and Humberside Sailing Club, Ripon Sailing Club in North Yorkshire and Derwent Reservoir Sailing Club, County Durham.
Chris Atherton, RYA Senior High Performance Manager, said: "BYS Recognised Club 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."
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.
Find out more about Pennine Sailing Club or see here to discover how clubs can train tomorrow's champions and gain British Youth Sailing Recognised Club status.