Under a cloud of gold confetti and to the shouts of 'Sail for Gold' from excited youngsters the RYA officially unveiled its new Sail for Gold programme today (Saturday 05 March) at Alexandra Palace.
The programme aims to bring the excitement of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games to sailing clubs and training centres across the country in the lead up to and during the games by looking at ways to inspire new and existing sailors to get out on the water, make clubs the focal point for members to join in the spirit of the Olympics, and maximise support for the British Sailing Team.
'We have some fantastic activities lined up both on and off the water for 2011 and in the lead up to the 2012 Games', explained RYA Deputy Chairman Stacey Clark.
'From Passage to Portland, where a whole fleet of boats will converge of the Olympic sailing venue in June 2012 and Push the Boat Out (21July 2012) where we aim to get as many people out sailing at the same time across the country. To Sail for Gold balls and club Sail for Gold regattas, treasure hunts, rallies and races there are whole host of activities for clubs and training centres to get involved in.
'The more people and clubs we can get involved in the programme the better it will be and we can really show our support for our great sailors', Stacey continued.
Sarah Gosling, double Olympic gold medallist told us just how important it was to have the support of the public behind the team during the Olympics: 'It’s massively important to feel like we have the support of the British public and in particular the other British sailors when Games time comes around.
'A home Games mean the sailors can really capitalise on the good will and enthusiasm of everyone.'
Clubs across the country are being encouraged to sign up as Sail for Gold Activators and get their club involved in the programme and run a variety of their own events to celebrate and support the British Sailing Team.
The programme will also be highlighting our great Olympic and Paralympic sailing heritage with an exhibit of photos and memorabilia which will tour the UK from January 2012 and in Weymouth and Portland during the 2012 Games.
To find out more about Sail for Gold and to find out how you can get involved or become a Sail for Gold Activator: Click here