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Onboard, Volvo Champion Club

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craiggo View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote craiggo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Onboard, Volvo Champion Club
    Posted: 14 May 09 at 11:24am
Mikey,

I agree with your 3 points, but while I may be coming across as a bit anti RYA training, I am not, I just dont agree with the way its being done. Surely there is a way to reduce the travelling required and to enable more sailing to take place at home clubs.

Sure once the kids have grown up, have cars etc they can go off and compete in traveller events but then its only them that travel, not their parents and siblings as well.

A couple of weekends ago we have a huge turnout at our club, mainly of toppers, but we also had the parents out sailing as well, if the topper kids go off to an event which they will this weekend (Saltash I believe) then we will probably loose upto 10boats, which when you generally get 25-30boats is a large percentage.

On the subject of loosing teenagers from the sport, it doesnt matter whether you provide training or not. I received no recognised training as a youf and pretty much gave up sailing between the age of 13 and 18 while I went flying and gliding but boredom at uni forced me to look for a cheap sport to occupy my weekends and wednesday afternoons and so I got back into it. I imagine that many others dont find their way back. So whether trained or not we will loose a considerable number, and as rightly pointed out post university young twenty somethings tend to be fairly nomadic so you arn't going to retain these guys at one club, but generally what you loose to one club you gain from another.
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Mikey 14778 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Mikey 14778 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 May 09 at 10:31am
Well in the case of points (1) to (4), nothing at all. Whether you follow RYA training or 30yrs ago style practices,
all of those things will remove you from the sport given half a chance.

And I don't *know* that what the RYA will do for todays kids is necessarily worse than what we did for ourselves 30
years ago. And, being a bit selfish, I don't much care either.

I think my point really is that:

1) Taking the youth and juniors away from the home club does the club no favours whatsoever.

2) Making sailing into an eternal training exercise is unlikely to be as much fun for the participants as just getting
out there and doing it.

3) If you do train everyone up, all you've done is raise the bar for everyone. The top few will be more competitive at
the olympics, but for everyone else there's no noticeable difference except that they had to zoom all over the country
and train hard for 2 years to come tenth instead of just sailing in a relaxed way on their local pond for 2 years to
come tenth.

But as I say, I don't really care. When I introduce my children to sailing, it will be in a relaxed way on the local
pond. If they want to take part in local training (of which there is loads, so that's an advantage) then fine. They
won't be travelling all over the country regardless of how much the RYA want them to - there are some things that
parents get to decide on, and that's one of them.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Tessa Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 May 09 at 7:30pm

Originally posted by Mikey 14778

When I was a kid, I sailed for the joy of sailing, and got better over time by osmosis and swimming. I found it
more fun for being unsupervised by adults. I'm still sailing now, 30 years on..

Me too. From a youngster's perspective I may have thought I was unsupervised, but I do vaguely recall that there were people around who usually turned up to rescue me at the right moment...kind generous sometimes brave people who let me do my own thing.

If I had had the same training and coaching that my children have lapped up, then I wouldn't have spent 15 years crewing without helming; I would have been fitter to cope with the conditions; I would have possibly been more assertive as a crew and I would have been a whole lot more competent in a sailing dinghy.

Another thought crossed my mind - when I think about people who sailed with me when I was a teenager, they are not all sailing any more. They got diverted along the way by (1) spouses who don't sail, (2) children, (3) emigration (4) work, etc, etc

So what's different now?

Tessa

 

 

 

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Post Options Post Options   Quote RS400atC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 May 09 at 10:42am

I think getting kids into the sport at any level is great, but the RYA is too biased towards Olympic hopefuls rather than those who might simply enjoy racing as a recreation. Also why give up on the general public just because they are over 21 or whatever?

This is a general trend in Olympic sports as far as I can tell, the old 'Sport for All' thing is dead, the government now wants medals for its money.

To me sport is a leisure activity as part of my life. Olympic level 'sport' is more about TV entertainment for the masses and an activity for the few. Perhaps in a few years time we will have to re-invent amateur sportsmanship.

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JimC View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote JimC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 May 09 at 10:23am
Originally posted by winging it

plus a woman set a record in the over 55 group for something or another

That was rather my point... In sailing there are plenty of classes and event types where a good 55 year old is capable of winning outright, not in an age category.

Edited by JimC
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Post Options Post Options   Quote winging it Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 May 09 at 9:32am
Jim, I was at the Herts County Atrhletics Champs this weekend and there were more seniors than juniors, plus a woman set a record in the over 55 group for something or another.

In athletics it is very hard to compete if you are not a member of a club.  Most athletes actually have to wear a club vest when they are competing.  I suppose the key difference is that atheletes train during the week and then compete at weekends - some thing it isn't practical for sailors to do.

But that's all by the by.  Generally this thread has made depressing reading, since the response to youth training seems to be that it takes from the club, but gives nothing back - thus far.  But what about the future?  Maybe when the squad sailors realise sailing is fun after all, might they come back in their thirties, start club racing again and then put their valuable experience into coaching and instructing?  That's the path I have taken.

It's also interesting though, to note that there seems to be a reliance on the youth sailors to swell the numbers on race days.  What about members who simply cruise or sail for fun?  Could they/should they be persuaded into racing?

With adults there's a very high fear factor in starting to race later in life - the fear of the cost, of damage to boats on a busy start line, and above all, the fear of looking foolish.  I wonder how many onlookers would like to be in the race, if only they had the nerve?

I think I'll start a new thread for this one.

the same, but different...

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JimC View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote JimC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 May 09 at 8:48am
Originally posted by AdrianM

My local town has for many years now had a fantastic youth rugby scheme, drive by on a freezing January Sunday morning and there will be 100+ children out playing and having fun.  Come Saturday though they still are only able to get out the same number of teams as when I wheezed around with them 20 years ago

I think the loss rate for any sport is much the same... Certainly I had no great interest in continuing to play rugby beyond school level. I knew I'd never be committed enough or good enough to play for my native country and was fed up with picking up niggling injuries.

One concern I have is that with Rugby, athletics etc few folk are going to be that competitive after about 30, so if you've done it all by 18 and are bored then that's not suh a big deal.

But you can do sailboat racing for many more years... If you've got to 18 and you've done world championships Nationals etc etc and there's not much new to look forward too then I think that's a pity...

Its inevitable when you teach sailing at youth level that many of them will fan out round the country. Hopefully what goes around comes around, and other clubs graduates will end up near your club. I think we just have to live with that. I think its probably also inevitable that folk who do sail competitively in their 20s, at the moment at least, won't have much of a club affiliation in the UK. A couple of events a month on the circuit is as much as most people can commit to.

So its a question of picking up folk again when they are a bit older and maybe bore with all the travelling... No easy answers...
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Mikey 14778 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Mikey 14778 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 May 09 at 11:19pm
It seems to me that there's nothing wrong with having a thriving junior scene, in fact it is to be encouraged.
The problem (if there is one) is that this scene is driving all over the country rather than staying in one
place at the local club. So the clubs put the effort into getting the ball rolling with training and then the
kids all push off to become part of a national thing. It's not good for the clubs and you have to wonder if it's
good for the kids.

I think this is happening at my club. Certainly we're crowded out with youngsters during the many training
events, but you rarely see any of them in a club race.

Obviously this is a good way to identify the next Olympic teams, but after you've done that you're left with the
other 99.9% who presumably just get fed up with all the aggro and hard work and eventually give up ?

When I was a kid, I sailed for the joy of sailing, and got better over time by osmosis and swimming. I found it
more fun for being unsupervised by adults. I'm still sailing now, 30 years on. I wonder if these youngsters will
be.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Tessa Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 May 09 at 8:49pm

For the life of me I cannot see what's wrong with having a thriving junior scene. The squads have gathered together a critical mass of junior sailors in age groups that enable them to make friends and the internet has made the world a smaller place for our teenagers, Unlike less travellled teenagers, they do know the people that they are communicating with on the internet.

To my mind the problem, if there is one, needs to be redefined. Many of those junior sailors who turn into youth sailors, then leave home for three or four years to go to university often away from their home town and it is quite normal for those sailors therefore to disappear from their original home club scene. This happened in the old days too before the RYA squad structure developed.

They may be team racing for their university, and may be running the uni sailing club, both useful skills for the future when they maybe one day take a second look at club sailing. Some of the sailing clubs will have unversity teams under their wing.

As adults at the start of their working careers what will they find when they want to go sailing and take a look at our sailing clubs? As before they will choose between sea, pond, lake or reservoir. Some of them will still want to be at the front of the fleet, some very happy mid fleet with lots of company. So what's different now?

Tessa

 

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Post Options Post Options   Quote AdrianM Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 May 09 at 7:56pm

Originally posted by G.R.F.

Well as a parent who's daughter having won a national youth
champonship event first time on the water beating a young Bryony Shaw,
who was the then leading light, she got absorbed straight into the squad
system, after one training weekend at the hands of the RYA, she came
back and begged me never to make her do that again, so I didn't, never
having been one to force his own sport on his kids. What went on that
weekend she never told me, but other parental tales are legion and for as
many as stick, ten times are lost to our sport forever.

They do it because getting funding for kids is easy and keeps them all in
jobs, it's worth nothing to individual adults and is absolutely devastating
to the club scene, with the various parental rivalry, inteference, self
centred own child interest.

So be very wary is my advice.

So the RYA lose 10 times as many as they keep - how does that stack up against other sports I wonder?  My local town has for many years now had a fantastic youth rugby scheme, drive by on a freezing January Sunday morning and there will be 100+ children out playing and having fun.  Come Saturday though they still are only able to get out the same number of teams as when I wheezed around with them 20 years ago - do we blame the RFU/RYA for that too or just accept that people move on and their interests change over time.

Are you saying that your daughter gave up windsurfing after that weekend or just left the squad system, from the outside it seems harsh to criticise the RYA's programmes at delivering medal success given what Bryony has been able to achieve?

Most of the training for junior squads happens during the winter when many clubs are closed for racing and in this free country isn't it then down to the club to make their environment's interesting and challenging so that individuals would rather sail therre then anywhere else - after all Rick mentioned somewhere that WYC had 80+ entries for a club race the other day, would appear as though they are still doing ok?

 

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