Thanks to the sponsorship from the shipping company TORM, the DSA have been able to offer clubs around the country a chance to bring these exciting boats to their shores and youngsters a chance to sail them. The response so far has been fantastic and the programme has already 'sold out' - 100 boats have been allocated around Denmark in 35 sailing clubs.
All boats will be out sailing in the clubs before the summer months with the DSA also set to introduce a lot of new initiatives to the respective clubs.
Dan IBSEN, Secretary General of the DSA, explains, 'We wish to experiment with new activities where the social and educational aspects of sailing will be given the highest priority, and we will arrange 'inspirational days' for the clubs in order to introduce methods for programmes on the water, different from normal race training.'
The DSA is also looking to exploit the Feva's suitability of an adult/child crew combination by co-operating with clubs to arrange new 'one day regattas' for these crews at a regional level.
Besides the club sailing for beginners, the dinghies are also perfect for introducing young kids to sailing for the first time. The clubs allocated the boats are being encouraged to invite school children down to the harbours in order to give them a taste of the joys of sailing.
From this autumn the new youth dinghy will be a part of the Grand Prix Series for young sailors in Denmark. In 2004 DSA entered a long term sponsor contract with TORM and among many initiatives established a new structure in Danish Junior and Youth Sailing, with several large annual youth regattas for all potential junior and youth classes:
IBSEN explains, 'We wish to bring all the classes together at these regattas in order to bring young sailors in many different classes together with their friends several times during the season. By doing this is, you do not have to change class in order to meet your sailing friends.'
Besides this regatta programme the cooperation with TORM has also resulted in new programmes in summertime for young sailors to give them an opportunity to join 'Summer Camps' all over the country. The DSA have also introduced a series of new diplomas at club level sailing in order to encourage young sailors to learn more about sailing, without joining a race training scheme. A development scheme and criteria for the clubs in order to become 'DSA Youth Friendly Clubs' has also been launched.
DSA is also delighted to extend their sponsorship and co-operation with TORM for a new three period from 2007-2009. Not only is does this sponsorship providing funding to top level teams, it also helps support sailing and clubs at a grassroots level. With their RS Feva initiative the DSA and TORM are demonstrating their commitment to the future of the sport.
Next year Denmark will have the perfect opportunity to demonstrate their commitment to youth sailing on a world stage when they host the 38th Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship in Arhus from 10-19 July. It will be the first time Denmark has hosted the ISAF Youth Worlds and they will be looking to build on a terrific performance at the 2006 Championship, where Maiken Foght SCHUTT (DEN) won a bronze medal in the Laser Radial and Jenna Mai HANSEN and Jonathan BAY (DEN) won bronze in the Hobie 16.
Connect to Sailing is a global initiative led by ISAF to increase participation in sailing. It is based upon grass roots activities with a focus on youth. Connect to Sailing is supported by six Sailing Industry partners: the European Confederation of Nautical Industries, Performance Sailcraft Europe, Hyde Sails Ltd, Neilson Active Holidays Ltd, Tack Tick and Ron Holland Design.
For more on the initiative visit the ISAF Connect to Sailing microsite - www.sailing.org/connecttosailing or contact the Connect to Sailing team by CLICKING HERE.
For all the news on Connect to Sailing CLICK HERE.