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173 UK clubs get rubber-stamped

by Matt Carter on 17 Oct 2013
Horning Sailing Club celebrating their RYA Champion Club status Holly Hancock
A tally of some 173 sailing clubs across the UK have had their junior and youth racing credentials rubber-stamped following a recent review of the RYA’s flagship Champion Club programme.

Following a successful bid to Sport England as part of the RYA 2013 - 17 Whole Sport Plan, the RYA took the opportunity to review, update and refine the RYA Champion Club programme with a total of 173 clubs across the United Kingdom renewing their commitment to supporting Junior and Youth Racing.

Since the inception of the original Volvo RYA Champion Club programme in 1997, the scheme has recognised, promoted and invested in clubs which have continually introduced young people into sail racing and encouraged them to progress via good quality race training in a safe and fun environment.

The 173 sailing clubs across the United Kingdom who have shown their continued support will continue to be the very foundation of the RYA Junior and Youth Racing Programme, which provides the bedrock of the British Sailing Team, following the recent re-validation process.

These clubs will benefit from branding and 'centre of excellence' status for junior race training and racing, they be promoted by the RYA as ideal venues to take young sailors in order to get them started and develop their skills, as places where you can receive advice and support from volunteers and coaches trained and informed by the RYA via their local High Performance Managers. The venues will be given access to RYA investment, support and resources.

Poole Yacht Club, which has been a part of the RYA Champion Club programme since April 2000, and which helped guide London 2012 Olympians Lucy and Kate Macgregor on the pathway to sailing success, is one of the many clubs which will continue to benefit from the RYA Champion Club programme.

Rob Kemp, Topper class captain at Poole Yacht Club, explains why the Champion Club status is so important to the South Coast based club: 'I believe Champion Club status is important to a club like ours in many ways, probably the most important is the perception of the club to other sailors and class associations when they are considering a venue for events. The status gives potential visitors a measurable method in comparing other venues, a little like the hotel industry and their star ratings. I firmly believe this has helped us secure such high profile events as the 2.4mR Worlds and the recent RYA South Zone Championships.

'Obviously the revenue from these events is a great boost to our clubs funds which in turn allows us to invest in club facilities such as our safety fleet, training rooms, and race management equipment. Our junior winter training is open to sailors from all Poole Clubs for a fixed fee allowing sailors from around the harbour to train and race together along with a limited number of invited sailors from the south region. As PYC now boasts several British Sailing Team sailors as members these guys have offered to come along and support this training and offer inspirational talks, guidance and advice for the up and coming generation of young sailors.

Kemp continued: 'The benefits to our young sailors through the Champion Club programme are massive. We offer great training, great facilities, huge opportunities to sail and make lifelong friends through a sport which, if they choose, can stay with them for life, and for some offer a career path not otherwise considered. An example would be the recent Zone Championships – how many kids get to say at school on a Monday morning when asked by the teacher what they did at the weekend – ‘Oh I went racing with another 170 boats all weekend and got to hang out with an Olympic athlete!’ That’s pretty cool in my book.'

Duncan Truswell, RYA Youth Racing Manager, added: 'These Champion Clubs are rightly recognised as the very foundations of our performance programmes, not only providing great coaching, advice and support but also as those locations which provide great places for young people to have fun alongside learning to sail, race and develop their enthusiasm for competitive sailing and thereby progress within the sport.

'They continue to be instrumental to consistently developing the next generation of Olympic and Paralympic sailors, and we very much hope that the refined criteria and benefits will provide the appropriate support and infrastructure clubs need to thrive. We continue to be indebted to the many volunteers who form the committees, coaches and race officials within clubs who give up their time and expertise to support this programme and the next generation of sailors all across the UK.'

Current RYA Champion Clubs per region:

East Anglia

Aldeburgh Yacht Club
Alton Water Sports Centre
Blackwater Sailing Club
Brightlingsea Sailing Club
Broxbourne Sailing Club
Burnham Sailing Club
Bury Lake Young Mariners
Dabchicks Sailing Club
Ely Sailing Club
Fishers Green Sailing Club
Grafham Water Sailing Club
Haversham Sailing Club
Horning Sailing Club
Hunts Sailing Club
Milton Keynes and Bucks Youth Sailing Association
Norfolk Broads Yacht Club
Priory Sailing Club
Royal Corinthian Yacht Club
Royal Harwich Yacht Club
Snettisham Sailing Club
Thorpe Bay Yacht Club
Waldringfield Sailing Club
Waveney and Oulton Broad Yacht Club

East Midlands
Banbury Sailing Club
Burton Sailing Club
Carsington Sailing Club
Covenham Sailing Club
Cransley Sailing Club
Girton Sailing Club
Hollowell Sailing Club
Hykeham Sailing Club
Northampton Sailing Club
Notts County Sailing Club
Ogston Sailing Club
Rutland Sailing Club
Staunton Harold Sailing Club

Aldenham Sailing Club
Docklands Sailing and Watersports Centre
Hillingdon Outdoor Activity Centre
Queen Mary Sailing Club
Wimbledon Park Sailing Club

North East
Derwent Reservoir Sailing Club
Kielder Sailing Club
Scaling Dam Sailing Club
South Shields Sailing Club
Tees and Hartlepool Yacht Club

North West
Bassenthwaite Sailing Club
Bolton Sailing Club
Burwain Sailing Club
Chester Sailing and Canoe Club
Elton Sailing Club
Leigh and Lowton Sailing Club
Nantwich and Border Counties Sailing Club
Redesmere Sailing Club
Ullswater Yacht Club
West Kirby Sailing Club
West Lancashire Yacht Club

South East
Arun Youth Aqua Centre
Bembridge Sailing Club
Bewl Valley Sailing Club
Bexhill Sailing Club
Bosham Sailing Club
Bough Beech Sailing Club
Brading Haven Yacht Club
Broadstairs Sailing Club
Burghfield Sailing Club
Calshot Sailing Club
Chichester Yacht Club
Chipstead Sailing Club
Christchutrch Sailing Club
Crawley Mariners Yacht Club
Datchet Water Sailing Club
Dell Quay Yacht Club
Dorchester Sailing Club
Downs Sailing Club
Emsworth Sailing Club
Emsworth Slipper Sailing Club
Felpham Sailing Club
Frensham Pond Sailing Club
Gurnard Yacht Club
Hastings and St Leonards Sailing Club
Hawley Lake Sail Training Centre
Hayling Island Sailing Club
Highcliffe Sailing Club
Hill Head Sailing Club
Hythe and Saltwood Sailing Club
Itchenor Sailing Club
Lancing Sailing Club
Medway Yacht Club
Newhaven and Seaford Sailing Club
Oxford Sailing Club
Papercourt Sailing Club
Parkstone Yacht Club
Pevensey Bay Sailing Club
Poole Yacht Club
Porchester Sailing Club
Royal Lymington Yacht Club
Royal Southern Yacht Club
Royal Victoria Yacht Club
Seaview Yacht Club
Spinnaker Sailing Club
Upper Thames Sailing Club
Warsash Sailing Club
Weirwood Sailing Club
Whitstable Yacht Club
Wilsonian Sailing Club

South West
Bowmoor Sailing Club
Bristol Corinthian Yacht Club
Chew Valley Lake Sailing Club
Exe Sailing Club
Fowey Gallants Sailing Club
Frampton on Severn Sailing Club
Guernsey Yacht Club
Lyme Regis Sailing Club
Plymouth Youth Sailing Club
Restronguet Sailing Club
Roseland Paddle and Sail
Royal Torbay Yacht Club
Saltash Sailing Club
Somerset Youth and Community Sailing Association and Durleigh Sailing Club
South Cerney Sailing Club
St Catherine's Sailing Club
St Mawes Sailing Club
Starcross Yacht Club
Swanage Sailing Club
Weymouth Sailing Club

West Midlands
Barnt Green Sailing Club
Bartley Sailing Club
Chase Sailing Club
Draycote Water Sailing Club ltd
Rudyard Lake Sailing Club
South Staffs Sailing Club
Upton Warren

Yorkshire Humberside
Beaver Sailing Club
North Lincs and Humberside Sailing Club
Pennine Sailing Club
Ripon Sailing Club
Yeadon Sailing Club

Northern Ireland
Ballyholme Yacht Club
Carlingford Lough Sailing Club
Carrickfergus Sailing Club
Coleraine Yacht Club
County Antrim Yacht Club
Cushendall Sailing and Boating Club
Donaghadee Sailing Club
East Antrim Boat Club
East Down Yacht Club
Holywood Yacht Club
Lough Erne Yacht Club
Quoile Yacht Club
Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club
Strangford Lough Yacht Club

Annandale Sailing Club
Chanonry Sailing Club
Clyde Cruising Club
Clyde Windsurfing Club
Dalgety Bay Sailing Club
East Lothian Yacht Club
Helensburgh Sailing Club
Largs Sailing Club
Loch Lomond Sailing Club
Loch Tummel Sailing Club
Loch Venachar Sailing Club
Lochcarron Sailing Club
Solway Yacht Club

Bala Sailing Club
Cardiff Bay Yacht Club
Mumble Yacht Club
Neyland Yacht Club
Port Dinorwic Sailing Club
Pwllheli Sailing Club
Shotwick Lake Sailing Club

For further information regarding the RYA Champion Club programme visit the RYA website
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