SAILING: Draycote Water

Bic Techno windsurfers racing at Draycote Water SC. Picture by Malcolm Lewin
Bic Techno windsurfers racing at Draycote Water SC. Picture by Malcolm Lewin
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RYA Champion Club for 2013-2014

Draycote Water Sailing Club has had its junior and youth racing credentials rubber-stamped after being confirmed as an RYA Champion Club for 2013-2014.

The RYA Champion Club programme is the foundation of the RYA’s hugely-successful and productive Junior and Youth Racing Programme, and the very bedrock of the British Olympic and Paralympic Sailing Team.

The programme recognises, promotes and invests in clubs that have continually introduced young people into sail racing and encouraged them to progress via good quality race training in a safe and fun environment.

Draycote Water SC is one of no fewer than 173 sailing clubs nationwide benefiting from investment, support and resources as part of the RYA Champion Club programme and is considered a ‘centre of excellence’ for young sailors in pursuit of future international success.

Amongst the more recent success stories to graduate through the club’s programme include Rob and Emma Loveridge, who are now part of the 29er RYA National Youth Squad having previously sailed an RS Feva together as juniors.

Gill Pearson, Youth and Junior fleet captain, explains the difference being an RYA Champion Club has made to them.

“This year we completely revamped youth and junior sailing by moving the sessions in-house, along with all our other training. For the previous two seasons all youth and junior coaching was run commercially by an outside organisation. Being a Champion Club meant over the winter 2012/13 we could take advantage of subsidised Race Coach Level 2 training to get our parent volunteers qualified to run the sessions.

“Junior and youth sailors of all abilities are encouraged to sail more and are offered coaching with the opportunity to take RYA courses. The more advanced juniors take part in race training and race practice sessions on Friday evening, which frees them up for any RYA or class squad training that weekend. On Saturday mornings, there is beginner and improver coaching, which will ultimately feed in to the race training sessions.

“We have a number of talented and experienced youth sailors in RYA squads for whom we would like to be able to offer additional top quality, high level coaching sessions at ‘home’. High level ‘home’ training is very valuable for the sailors involved and also for the club as it shows the less experienced juniors what they can aspire to and encourages more youth sailors to take up racing and then sail more often.”

Following a successful bid to Sport England as part of the RYA’s 2013 - 17 Whole Sport Plan, the RYA took the opportunity to review, update and refine the RYA Champion Club programme.

Duncan Truswell, RYA Youth Racing Manager, added: “The RYA Champion Clubs are the very foundations of our World Class performance programmes, providing great coaching, advice and support and great places for young people to have fun while learning to sail, race and developing their enthusiasm for competitive sailing.

“They continue to be instrumental in consistently developing the next generation of Olympic and Paralympic sailors. We are indebted to the many club volunteers who form the committees, coaches and race officials and who give up their time and expertise to support the next generation of sailors all across the UK.”

More information about the RYA Champion Club programme can be found at