The first Activate Your Laser Fleet workshop took place at Staunton Harold Sailing Club, Derbyshire on Sunday 7 February. A full house of ten "Activators" attended, representing six sailing clubs from the region.
The weather conditions on Sunday were hardly the stuff of any sailor's dreams, so some might say the perfect day for discussing different methods and strategies to encourage the fleet of unused Lasers in the UK back onto the water!
The key goal of Activate Your Laser Fleet is to increase adult participation in sailing by reinvigorating activity in the number of under used Laser fleets across the country. At the Activate workshop each Club commits to three key initiatives to work on with their club to achieve this goal. The workshops provide a forum for discussion amongst clubs, to share ideas and opinions of the different approaches that may be considered to achieve the overall goal.
Staunton Harold Sailing Club has seventy five Lasers at their Club, with only twenty five used on a regular basis. With only one third of boats being used it leaves two thirds of boats for the Activate Your Laser Fleet project to attend to! Numerous suggestions were made on the day, which ranged from club officials attending courses to gain coaching qualifications, new communication methods with all Laser owners within the Club and purchasing new equipment to return boats to their former glory. The RYA, LaserPerformance and UKLA are all committed to supporting these principles.
The success of Activate Your Laser Fleet for this region now lies with the representatives of the clubs who attended supported by Bret Cokayne, RYA Regional Club Coach and Gareth Brookes; RYA Development Officer for the Midlands. Bret will schedule visits with each of the six clubs that attended the workshop over the next two to three weeks. The idea is to ensure that the Club's initiatives are supported and put into practice, and if necessary offer help with accessing funding, writing a fleet development plan, delivering training and suggestions of how to work more effectively to deliver the end goal; activating their Lasers increasing adult participation.
The RYA's Coaching Development Officer, Mike Hart delivered the workshop to great praise and whilst still in its infancy, the project was received extremely well by all who attended. James Lund-Lack, LaserPerformance commented, "It was a fantastic day, and I believe that everybody went away with the belief that with the full support of the National Governing Body, the Class Association and the Manufacturer they really will be able to deliver on their committed initiatives and make a difference to Laser sailing at their Clubs."
Ten further workshop dates are scheduled for the early Spring months. To learn more or if you feel that your Club would benefit from the support offered by the Activate Your Laser Fleet Project, then contact Tzaneen Mears at the RYA
for more information about becoming involved.