Health and wellbeing

Funding level: £5,001 to £10,000


Spinnaker Youth Training aims to instil a love of sailing into children who have never been in a boat. This starts with our Beginners Optimists course, where a child first experiences the responsibility of being in charge of their own destination, on their own, in a boat. This is a huge step in self-confidence for a youngster, and the effects on the children is amazing.
From that course Spinnaker tries to develop the children through 3 other Optimist courses, then onto double-handed sailing, and hopefully onto Instructor Courses from where they repay the Club by continuing the circle and, in their turn, instructing new beginners in sailing. This virtuous circle has been in action for many years now.
In years gone by, parents would buy a dinghy for their child before starting the course. However, modern demands on family finances now cause this to be a major stumbling block for many families, who therefore never can afford to get their child started. The Club has bought a few training boats and now can offer a very limited number of places on the Beginners Course with the option of hiring one of these boats, so that families can make sure that their child loves the sport and it is therefore worth them making the outlay on a boat of their own. These course+boat places are the first to be filled, and many are therefore left without that option.
Due to the general demand, the Club is now also having to offer these courses on both days of the weekend, rather than just the traditional Sunday. This will cause greater stress on the fleet and, doubtless, some unavailability.
In addition to the use of these boats at the weekend, the Club is very well used by schools and groups such as Scouts, Beavers and Sea Cadets. Increasingly these groups are asking the Club to host one or two day multi-activity days for their students, which as the name suggests include a variety of watersports such as kayaks and larger boats, but also taster sessions in smaller boats such as the Optimists. As an example, the recent Scout Regatta on 23rd September was attended by 132 scouts and the like. Having extra boats will help us to accommodate larger groups from these schools and groups, allowing them in turn to enthuse more of their own members or students.
Finally, after a very short pause the Club is, in 2018, restarting its 'Oppy Camp', which has a long history of attracting large numbers of new and existing but hesitant sailors from the whole area for a week of training and fun in the Summer holidays, and additional boats will enable us to accommodate more children.
The Club would therefore like to obtain an additional 5 Training Optimists costing approximately £9,500 for the 2018 sailing season that starts in earnest around the end of March, in order to offer the sailing experience to a larger number of children.

Spinnaker Sailing Club Limited

Location: Blashford

Our Youth Training was started by our own members giving up their own time, and has since grown into an RYA recognized Training Centre. The look on a child's face when they sail off on their own in a boat is enough, but seeing them develop to taking the responsibility of training others is immense.
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