An aspiring young sailor from Barton-under-Needwood has been given his very own boat - donated by the John Merricks Sailing Trust - in the inaugural year of a new national scheme aimed at helping talented youngsters progress in their sport.
New Boat Award To Help Krishan Sail For Gold
Krishan Bhogal, who learnt to sail at Manor Park Sailing Club, near Kings Bromley, two-and-a-half years ago, was selected to win a new Topper one-person dinghy from almost 100 applicants after competing in the RYA West Zone Championships at Draycote Water Sailing Club, near Rugby in September.
The youngster, who turns 12 next month, takes part in every junior sailing session and coaching sessions, run as part of the RYA Onboard programme at Manor Park SC, that he can. He also participates in adult sailing at the club.
Now he has his sights on progressing on the RYA’s celebrated World Class junior pathway to the very top.
Krishan said: 'I’m so grateful to have been awarded this boat. I will use it every chance I have and look after it with my life! I love the excitement sailing gives me and get a massive adrenaline rush in heavy winds. Wet and windy is by far the best condition.
'It’s a fantastic feeling being out on the water and simply sailing. In two years time I’d love to be racing as part of the RYA Topper national squad. I’d have reached my goal as a junior sailor. I’m totally dedicated to the sport.'
Krishan will receive two years of exclusive use of the JMST-donated boat. It will then be donated to Manor Park SC to benefit training programmes and enable other talented young sailors to progress into club, regional and national racing activities.
Krishan does not come from a sailing family but got into the sport after badgering his parents to let him try it out! They took him along to Manor Park SC and he never looked back.
At all his previous events he has borrowed one of Manor Park’s own Toppers, but having his own boat will now enable him to take even greater responsibility for his sailing.
Mum, Annie, added: 'We’re committed to travelling to regional and national events to allow Krishan to gain as much experience as he can. The first of these events were an eye opener for us all - the number of boats, the size of the water, the ability and experience of the sailors. This new Topper will enable Krishan to set the boat up more exactly each time he is on the water and to improve his performance.'
OnBoard is the nationwide grassroots programme run by sailing’s national governing body, the RYA, that introduces sailing and windsurfing to young people aged eight to 18, through schools, youth groups and training centres, and gives them opportunities sail regularly at low cost.
JMST seeks to help young sailors and youth sailing organisations to achieve their goals and was set up in the memory of 1996 Olympic silver medallist sailor John Merricks.
As official RYA OnBoard Charity partner, over the next five years the JMST will donate more than 50 single-handed junior pathway boats and boards to promising sailors. Every year, at least one young sailor will be selected from each of the nine RYA Zones and Home Countries to receive two years of exclusive use of the boat or board.
RYA OnBoard Operations Officer Cat Ferguson said: 'We were overwhelmed with the number of applications we received and selecting just a small number of sailors was an extremely difficult task. We’re really excited to award Krishan with a Topper dinghy as he has shown real enthusiasm, talent and commitment to the sport.'
Bishop Skinner Marine has kindly agreed to insure all of the donated boats and boards for the two-year period the youngsters will be campaigning.
Over a 10 years OnBoard aims to introduce a minimum of 500,000 children to sailing and windsurfing in the UK, converting over 10 per cent of them into regular participants.
For more information about how to get involved in sailing visit the RYA’s website or the OnBoard website or for more information about the JMST visit JMST.