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RYA and Andrew Simpson Foundation launch joint initiative

by Becky Gilbert-Wood 22 Sep 2018 11:46 BST
RYA OnBoard sailors having fun © Emily Whiting

The RYA and the ASF have a shared vision of increasing youth participation in sailing. Recognising that volunteers are a key element to this, they have formed a partnership to support Volunteer Instructor Training across the UK through the RYA OnBoard programme.

In line with the aims of both organisations, this joint initiative is set to increase the number of Volunteer Instructors within OnBoard Clubs across the UK and enable greater numbers of young people to access the many benefits of sailing and windsurfing.

Shared funding from the RYA and ASF will support the delivery of Volunteer Instructor Courses in each of the ten RYA regions from January 2019 to July 2020. Over the eighteen month period it is expected that a total of 30 courses will take place resulting in up to 180 new Volunteer Instructors in OnBoard Clubs across the UK.

The Andrew Simpson Foundation is a charity dedicated to increasing participation and improving the lives of young people through sailing. Their Volunteer Instructor Training Grants have already helped a host of volunteer led clubs around the UK to increase their number of volunteer instructors and enable more young people to get out on the water.

Polly Schafer, volunteer at Brading Haven Yacht Club, commented on how the ASF grants have grown OnBoard through after-school sailing sessions: "We could not have run the after-school sessions without the two volunteers who did their training with the ASF grant.

She added: "After school sailing has really increased sailing participation at our club, we have kept the cost low to help families from all backgrounds have a go and we hope to inspire as many young people and their families to get into sailing and power boating as possible."

Andrew Simpson Foundation CEO Richard Percy said: "We are delighted to announce this new partnership with the RYA. OnBoard is a hugely important initiative to get young people into sailing and windsurfing and benefit from everything the sport has to offer.

"Ultimately the people that drive our sport are the volunteers that work tirelessly in our clubs and as an industry we need to recognise them and help them to inspire more people to get out on the water."

ASF Charity Operations Manager Hermione Garner added: "Sailing is an amazing confidence builder, it gives children problem solving skills, communication skills and builds resilience; there really are so many benefits. That's what this partnership is about, making that available to more people."

Commenting on behalf of the Sport Development team, Guy Malpas said: "Instructors are key in enabling young people to enter our sport and for keeping them sailing and windsurfing. This initiative will make a significant difference to the opportunities available to young people and to retaining them in our clubs."

Run by the RYA, OnBoard is a grass roots programme which introduces sailing and windsurfing to young people aged 8 to 18, through schools, youth groups and training centres. Since its launch in 2005 OnBoard has introduced more than 800,000 children to sailing and windsurfing in the UK, converting over 10% of them into regular participants.

For more information about how to get involved in sailing visit

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