The London and South East Youth Training Fund (LSEYTF) is a charity associated with the RYA to support youth development.

The award provides modest financial assistance to support a sailor’s ongoing efforts to fulfil their recognised potential. It is available to promising sailors up to the age of 14 who have demonstrated potential in events such as National School Sailing Association national championships, RYA ranking events or by selection for teams representing Great Britain at international level.

Finian Morris, a member of Papercourt and Datchet Water Sailing Clubs, has been sailing since he was very young in Fireflies, keelboats, Mirrors and Optimists and recently in Fevas. His 2019 achievements in the Optimist Class included:

5th in UK selection trials and member of British Team at Optimist World Championships

6th British sailor at the British Nationals

9th Overall Irish Nationals

2nd at the Late Summer Championships

In supporting Finian’s application for the bursary Sarah McGovern, GBR Optimist National Squad Lead Coach, said: “Finian is an incredibly talented and natural sailor. He has made huge leaps in performance in the last year including qualifying for the Optimist World Championships. He has also grown a lot in confidence. You can see Fin loves the sport of sailing including the science of how boats work and how they are made. He has huge potential going forward and I’m excited to see him progress further.”

In return for the bursary sailors are expected to pass on their experiences and enthusiasm to help inspire others to follow in their footsteps, and Finian has run coaching sessions for Papercourt Juniors, and he helps younger sailors at big event.

Finian said of his award: “It’s great to receive this funding because it helps with training, equipment and going to events.”

Finian (centre) receives his bursary award from Optimist National Squad Lead Coach Sarah McGovern and National Squad Coach Oliver Hill

Dave Ellis, Chairman of the RYA’s LSEYTF added: "It’s fantastic for young sailors to be able to experience a range of opportunities, both in the UK and internationally, during their development as they learn so much. But the costs of travel, accommodation, food etc. all quickly mount up and the bursaries provide some assistance to our young sailors as they develop their sailing careers”.

“We have an abundance of talent in the region and we want to give our young sailors, whether destined for ‘podiums’ or as coaches, the best chance to realise their ambitions.”

To discover how to get into sailing across London and the South East visit http://www.rya.org.uk/rya-regions/london-south-east/Pages/hub.aspx