Glossop Sailing Club’s team of young windsurfers have their eyes on the prize as they bid to land the national Team15 Champions Cup this month.
Glossop Gladiators have been crowned the 2018 Midlands Team15 champions after taking victory at each of the four inter-club events around the region this summer. But the Torside Reservoir youngsters are not resting on their laurels and want to top the national podium having finished third last year.
Team15 is the grassroots programme run by sailing’s governing body, the RYA, giving youngsters aged 15 and under the chance to develop windsurfing skills as part of a fun weekly club. The young windsurfers master the core basics and also learn to race to inspire a lifelong passion for a sport they can enjoy in all its forms all over the world.
No fewer than 26 youngsters have been regularly involved in Team15 at Glossop this summer - attending 10 or more sessions - with 19 going toe-to-toe with the region’s other Team15 windsurfers in the inter-clubs events. With the Champions Cup national final looming as part of the RYA/UKWA National Windsurfing Championships at Rutland SC on 15-16 September, the Gladiators know what they want.
“To do better than last year,” admits Viki Packman, Glossop SC’s Commodore and Training Principal.
"Team15 is excellent in reinforcing that juniors are part of a team, with a strong club identity, encouraging them to help each other. The concept is about learning new skills whilst having a laugh with their friends on the water. Work and commitment from parents and coaches has been a key factor of the Gladiators’ success over the past few years too.
“We also have a strong group of older teenagers and young adults who have become assistant instructors and this year, fully qualified instructors. They support the regular club sessions and contribute to the younger windsurfers having a sense of progression and aspiration. Windsurfing is fun, through which young people can get sense of achievement, make new friends, learn new skills and support each other, whatever their level."
Glossop Gladiators will take 14 sailors to Rutland for the RYA/UKWA National Windsurfing Championships. Many of Glossop’s young windsurfers were introduced to the sport through the club’s RYA OnBoard scheme, which makes it easier and cheaper to get more young people aged 8-18 on the water by providing low cost sailing and windsurfing sessions through schools, youth groups and families.
Meanwhile, Viki hopes seeing the young guns enjoying success on the national stage will inspire the club’s adults to start windsurfing more regularly too. With more instructors now qualified to teach windsurfing, the opportunities for adults to enjoy windsurfing at Glossop are greater than ever.
To find out how you can get involved in windsurfing at Glossop SC visit www.sail-glossop.org.uk or to learn more about Team15 visit www.rya.org.uk/programmes/rya-team15/