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Southern Spars

Sailing - it's a family affair for the Reynolds

by RYA Cymru-Wales 10 Nov 08:47 PST
Shania in the red lifejacket in the middle of the boat looking at camera, Mum Kirsty in the yellow lifejacket at the back of the boat © RYA Cymru-Wales

Sailing has become a family affair for the Reynolds' in West Wales, after boys Shaun and Liam were first given the chance to try the sport.

They took part in a school OnBoard programme delivered through All Afloat at Neyland Yacht Club. Older sister Shania, aged 18, started watching 12-year-old Sean and 10-year-old Liam at the sessions.

Then she was given the chance to get on the water at Neyland along with Mum Kirsty – now all four family members are taking part in winter training at the club.

Sean and Liam were first given the chance to sail through Neyland Community School and have gone on to compete all round South and West Wales in OnBoard festivals, the scheme to give people outside the normal sailing community a chance to take up the sport.

All Afloat is Wales' leading charity for enabling children and minorities to access boating and sailing.

"My brothers started an All Afloat programme through their school, they got invited to go sailing through the summer and then signed up at the end and carried on," explained Shania.

"I thought I might as well go along, to watch and see how they got on. I was given the chance to go in the safety boat to watch and see close up how they enjoyed it so much.

"From there I started taking my brothers to competitions, they enjoyed taking part in all the races. "Then me and Mum had the chance to do some training too, so we are all involved now. We are all doing winter training together, it is a lovely family experience.

"I just thought that if my brothers were enjoying it as much as they were, then I should join in. "It is a nice way to get out of the house instead of being in the same surroundings all day. Going out with my brothers is a really good experience, I wish I could have done it sooner."

RYA Cymru Wales West Wales development officer Hester Walker added, "Shania was so keen, coming along to all the sessions, that giving her the chance to get involved seemed the obvious next step.

"It is great to have the boys getting the chance to try sailing and then they were keen to carry on after the end of the school term.

"However getting the rest of the family involved is even better and will help them progress and stay in the sport.

"Of course it helps that sailing is one of the most family friendly sports, there's something for all ages, so it is easy for everyone to find something they can enjoy."

For further details about Welsh sailing and watersports, please go to RYA CYMRU Wales page on website or Facebook page or follow on Twitter @RYACymruWales. You can also keep up to date by following RYA Cymru Wales on Instagram.

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