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RYA Cymru Wales All Afloat

by Hamish Stuart, RYA Cymru-Wales 7 Jul 2017 15:43 BST 7 July 2017

Around 50 children from ethnic minority backgrounds in Cardiff have been given the chance to try sailing, in RYA Cymru Wales All Afloat sessions full of smiles, laughter and fun.

While the hope is that some of those taking part will be interested in joining sailing clubs to keep up an interest in watersports, the starting point is simply getting kids out on the water in a safe and supervised environment.

The scheme was launched by children from Cardiff Muslim Primary and Grangetown Youth Forum, at the Channel View Centre in Cardiff Bay.

Simon Lu, BME sports officer for Cardiff and part of the BME sport community project, explained, "Today we have started our sailing project in partnership with RYA Cymru Wales.

"We are bringing sailing provisions to the BME (British Minority Ethnic) communities of Cardiff, giving them the opportunity to go on the water, having lots of fun sailing, big smiles lots of excitement, it is fantastic to see as well.

"We are looking to progress it, possibly get some members joining the local yacht clubs and sailing schools.

"Sailing is important because it helps to break down the barriers between the communities. A lot of people from the BME communities would have looked at sailing and thought it is not for me, the demographic is middle class, white, and middle aged.

"Us bridging that gap, giving them the opportunity to sail and to go out on the water and have these opportunities is just fantastic in terms of community cohesion and making them feel more welcome by giving access to these activities.

"There will be four groups of 12, three sessions of tasters and after that progress those that are really keen and those that have excelled with the opportunities to get accreditation in terms of Learn to Sail courses after that."

RYA Cymru Wales South Wales development officer Pete Muskett added, "We want to promote different people coming out on the water.

"It tends to be that you went sailing because your parents went sailing and so the more we can do to get sailing out in the community the better.

"This is the perfect spot. There are hundreds of thousands of people living within a few miles of here, it is safe as houses, the kids are loving it."

For further details about Welsh sailing and watersports, please go to www.rya.org.uk/rya-regions/rya-cymru-wales or www.facebook.com/RYACymruWales or follow on Twitter @RYACymruWales. You can also keep up to date by following RYA Cymru Wales on Instagram - www.instagram.com/rya_cymru_wales