Sailing success as Sutton Coldfield Sailing Club secures £5,000 grant from Sport England for new boat
BUDDING sailors in Sutton Coldfield are set to make waves in style after being awarded a £5,000 grant to fund a new boat.
Members of Sutton Sailing Club (SC) are celebrating their new addition having ‘a-mast’ the generous donation from the Sport England Small Grants programme.
The club is splashing out on a GP14 sailing dinghy, which can be used by up to six people, to add to its expanding fleet of 15 boats to provide even more opportunities for local people to learn how to sail.
Chris Hale, Sutton SC commodore, said: “People can be put off trying sailing because they think they need to own or buy a boat, but the reality is they don’t.
“We’ve had a real focus on building and maintaining our fleet of club boats over the past few years so our members can really decide if they like sailing and try lots of different types of dinghies before even thinking about buying a boat.
“We want to make it as easy and cheap as possible for people to regularly come sailing with us. Having good quality equipment they can use and fostering a friendly, welcoming club atmosphere is key to that.
“We also run a successful ‘buddy’ system where improvers get paired with club instructors to build their confidence and introduce them to different aspects of the sport, like racing.”
The club, which is a recognised Royal Yachting Association (RYA) training centre, is hoping the new boat will help Sutton’s 2015 season sail to success as its first RYA ‘learn to sail’ course of the year launches on Saturday, April 11.
It is hoped the new boat will not only help to attract more newcomers into the sport but will build on the club’s success last year with its ‘improvers group’, where people who are doing or have completed their first RYA certificates can get together more informally to hone their skills while enjoying the social buzz of club life.
Chris added: “We had two RYA inspectors observe our course last autumn and they commented on the exceptionally welcoming and friendly nature of the club, the experience and knowledge of our own instructors and their excellent use of resources to support the learning experience. This was great feedback for us!”
Places are still available for Sutton SC’s RYA Level 1 and 2 Start Sailing course. Running for four consecutive Saturdays, prospective sailors will be taken from absolute beginner to being able to take control in fair conditions. For those unable to make the course in April, a second one will take place starting on September 26.
To find out more about sailing and Sutton SC, the club’s annual open day takes place on Saturday, July 11, coinciding with Sutton Coldfield Community Games.
More information can also be found on the club’s website at suttonsc.org.uk
by Helen Draycott