May is just around the corner and this year promises hundreds of opportunities to try sailing and windsurfing with RYA Push the Boat Out (PTBO)!
If the glorious Easter bank holiday weather has got you thinking about switching off those screens and getting active outdoors, then what better time to think about trying a new on-the-water activity?
More than 390 RYA affiliated clubs and recognised training centres across the UK, will be offering free or low cost sailing and windsurfing taster sessions, inviting visitors to ‘have a go’ out on-the-water. All ages and abilities are welcome, with opportunities for children, families, beginners and lapsed sailors, as well as those with disabilities or special requirements for getting out on-the-water.
We all know about the physical and mental health benefits of getting active, especially outdoors. With recent major studies showing an ever-increasing amount of additional benefits - particularly for young people in aiding character development, as well as offering an escape from modern day life.
A new hobby
Lucy York and her husband went along to a PTBO open day at their local club in London in 2018 and haven’t looked back. Lucy explains: “We had always wanted to make the most of the river as we live so close to the Thames. We were on the ferry and happened to see a poster advertising an open day at our local sailing club and thought we would pop along.
“We were just expecting to find out some information and pick up a leaflet, so were pleasantly surprised when we were asked to help crew a boat there and then! It was such good fun and everyone was so friendly and welcoming that we decided this would definitely be our river-based activity, and we haven’t looked back!
“We love being members of the club. It has been great to meet so many new people and to learn lots of new skills – the tea and cake is definitely a bonus too. We are so happy that we saw the poster and went to that open day – the best decision we could have made!”
RYA Programmes Manager, Michelle Gent commented: “We are looking forward to another fantastic month of RYA Push the Boat Out events and try sailing opportunities this year. Many people don’t realise that there’s a club and a gateway to the water right on their doorstep and it’s a brilliant opportunity to get involved and find out more!”
A real family day out, many venues will also be putting on shore-side activities like BBQs and games for the kids. Find out what’s on near you and get involved!
Last year, more than 39,000 people across the UK attended a PTBO open day, inspiring thousands of new sailors to join their local club. The national participation campaign aims to get more people out on-the-water and the RYA are asking all sailors to #TellAFriend and help spread the word!
Find out more about the Push the Boat Out campaign and events near you at www.rya.org.uk/ptbo.