OnBoard Development Officers (ODOs) selected the clubs for their facilities and suitability to catering for school groups and pupils of all abilities. Working with locally based ODOs, each school child will be taught by RYA instructors and provided with sailing and windsurfing lessons that follow the RYA's National Training Schemes.
Graham MANCHESTER, RYA Regional Development Officer for the south west commented, 'These clubs in the south west are the first to be able to provide schools with programmes that really do make sailing lessons easy for teachers to implement. Working with the RYA to develop the OnBoard programme, the clubs are at the forefront of an exciting programme in which we hope to introduce 500,000 children to sailing.'
As OnBoard Ambassador, AYTON, is keen to get as many children into sailing as possible and after the presentation ceremony took to the water and used her expertise to coach local children. She commented, 'Sailing is a versatile sport that is perfect for schools. It gives young people freedom and as a solo or group activity, is a great confidence builder for kids. I certainly loved sailing as a kid and now OnBoard will provide schools in the south west a great way for teachers and their children to become involved in sailing.'
The OB programme is specifically designed to fit into and enhance the PE curriculum along with the school's own PE and Sport programmes and is an ideal activity for the teaching and learning strands. OnBoard incorporates the mandatory swimming and water safety teaching and is an important and exciting aspect of the OAA (outdoor and adventurous activities) area of the PE curriculum.
Vicky LENZ, RYA Sailing Development Officer said, 'Sailing can really make a difference to the confidence of young people and can be taken to whichever level suits - from cruising to club racing or even the Olympics in 2012. As we've seen the difference sailing can make and the fun children have on the water we're committed to getting OnBoard right - working hard to make sure that the package makes it easy for teachers, providing them with the help and support they need to take their pupils sailing.'