John Merricks Sailing Trust applications open on 1st July 2021

It is less than a week until applications for the John Merricks Sailing Trust (JMST) and RYA OnBoard Scheme opens and there is a big change for 2022 applications.

Clubs and centres will now need to submit nominations on behalf of deserving young people they know will benefit - rather than an individual including parents and carers.

The JMST and OnBoard scheme aim remains the same: to support promising youngsters who display enthusiasm and commitment to the sport and who may not ordinarily have the opportunity or financial backing to achieve their goals.

At least one young sailor will continue to be selected from each of the RYA Regions and Home Countries. Each young person will receive two years of exclusive use of their own boat or board (Optimist, Topper, Laser 4.7, RS Tera and Bic Techno 293OD), after which it will be returned to the sailor’s original venue - many of which are OnBoard clubs or centres - so other young sailors can continue to benefit in the future and progress into club and regional racing activities.

The RYA OnBoard Impact Report, which explores the positive impact which the initiative has had on the lives of youngsters, identified that young people from low affluence families, or Asian and black backgrounds are most likely to be inactive.

As Hannah Cockle, OnBoard Operations Officer adds: “The JMST and OnBoard scheme aims to introduce youngsters from all backgrounds to the sport. We hope the change to the application process will drive awareness about this terrific initiative and help in our mission to bring this fantastic opportunity to so many more deserving youngsters.”

Continued support

Set up in the memory of 1996 Olympic silver medalist John Merricks, the RYA is delighted that the JMST will continue to support the RYA OnBoard programme as the Official Charity Partner for an additional three years, as Hannah adds: “The JMST have really made a huge difference to all the young sailors and windsurfers who have been awarded use of their own boats and boards. In its seven years 89 boats and boards have now been donated but it so much more than simply donated pieces of equipment. It has helped countless young sailors achieve their goals and continue their progression in the sport, and we are thrilled that they will continue to support us.”

The online applications will open on Thursday 1 July for all OnBoard venues to nominate young sailors they feel will benefit from the joint initiative.