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University students set compass for sustainability

by Emma Cotton 31 Aug 19:10 BST
Uni Challenge Award Ceremony 2019 © RYA

And they're off! The Green Blue's annual University Sailing Sustainability Challenge (USSC) has today been launched. Now in its sixth year, the Challenge has university sailing clubs (USC) from across each corner of the UK signed-up to take on this year's green sailing actions.

Last year's competition, which was adapted to meet Covid restrictions, saw 10 USCs successfully complete the sustainability actions in their tier.

The clubs move through a three-tier award system: Bronze, Silver and then eventually to Gold. Each tier has a different set of actions for the club to achieve, which range from raising awareness of The Green Blue's key campaign issues, eliminating single use plastics from training and events, to undertaking an environmental assessment of the club's sailing venue.

This year's Challenge has been sponsored for a second time by sustainable clothing brand, Ocean?, and supported by British University Sailing Association (BUSA) for a sixth year.

Each award-winning USC will be entered into a cash prize draw from Ocean? of £1000, which will be split across each award level. The winners of the cash prize draw will be picked at random in February at the RYA Dinghy Show in Farnborough International Exhibition Centre.

Each successful team will receive discounts on Ocean?'s sustainable team wear made from recycled plastic waste. In addition, the Sustainability Officer for each award-winning club will be given a £50 Ocean? voucher in recognition for leading their club to success in the Challenge.

Olivia Wells, RYA Sustainability Officer and Challenge Coordinator, said: "It's fantastic to already see the enthusiasm from the universities that have signed up to The Green Blue's Challenge and are excited to begin making progress at their sailing club. We're really looking forward to harnessing that enthusiasm and seeing how the students progress with the sustainable actions."

Commenting on last year's Challenge, Sustainability Officer for Portsmouth University Sailing Club, Hebe, said: "We entered the University Sustainability Challenge, after achieving Silver last year, our aim was to reach Gold! Despite the changing circumstances, the Challenge adjusted the criteria accordingly meaning we could still strive to be more sustainable. Not only have we made changes as a club which we will continue to implement, but it allowed us to identify areas in our individual lives where we can be more sustainable. I would definitely encourage all other University Sailing Clubs to get involved!"

Are you part of a USC? It isn't too late to sign-up your club up to take part, simply visit The Green Blue website to find out more or email: .

Don't forget, you can follow the progress of this year's participating clubs on social media by following: #GreenBlueUniChallenge and @TheGreenBlue on Facebook and Twitter and @The_Green_Blue on Instagram.

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