Onboard, the grassroots programme developed by the RYA to get young people into sailing, was launched today at the Southampton International Boatshow by RYA President HRH The Princess Royal and Olympic Medallists Sarah AYTON and Nick DEMPSEY.
Onboard is a nation-wide programme that is making it easier for young people to go sailing and get involved in local sailing activities.
In developing the programme, the RYA looked at existing entry routes into the sport and, through consultation with a broad section of youth sailing providers, looked at the successful examples of young peoples participation that are currently being run across the country. From this programme, a framework was developed and subsequently tested through two pilot schemes.
Onboard is a long-term programme co-ordinated by the RYA, supported by the British Marine Federation and industry and delivered locally by RYA training centres and clubs. The programme focuses on increasing non-family entry routes into sailing through closer links with school sports activities. This is vital in giving more young people the opportunity to get out on the water.
The development of activities specifically for young people offering a variety of sailing for all skills and abilities will help to encourage regular participation. Increases in membership of young people to clubs, activity centres and the RYA will also work to encourage family units as a whole onto the water and into the clubs.
The two pilot schemes carried out tin the UK have been an outstanding success and Onboard is now becoming a reality, first in the South-west and North and over the next ten years, all over the UK. Over this period the programme intends to introduce a minimum of half a million children to sailing in the UK. The RYA anticipates that upward of 10 per cent of that figure will become regular participants in the sport.
Rodd CARR, RYA Chief Executive said, "Sailing is great fun and gives young people the chance to develop confidence, independence and a real sense of purpose - but we know that it's not always easy to get started. Onboard aims to encourage young people to experience the thrills, energy and friendship that sailing provides by providing an easy route onto the water."