A SAILING club near Ryhill is aiming to get more families involved in the sport thanks to the help of a £10,000 grant for new boats.
West Riding Sailing Club, based at Wintersett Reservoir, was awarded the grant from Sport England and have added two new sailing dinghies to their fleet of boats.
It’s hoped the top-of-the-range Xenon sailing dinghies, ideal for training beginners, family sailing and racing, will help the club continue to go from strength-to-strength.
The grant comes just over six years since the club, the oldest in West Yorkshire, saw its clubhouse gutted by a fire.
Member John Gledhill described the incident as a “hard time” for all involved with West Riding Sailing, but is confident the latest boost will see the family-orientated club continue to blossom.
“There was a lot of hard work from the committee and club members to get our new clubhouse built following the fire,” he recalled.
“We used various methods to raise money for it because the insurance didn’t fully cover the cost.
“We now have a new clubhouse and we’re looking to go from strength to strength.
“We applied for the Sport England grant in the winter and we received it in spring so it’s all happened quite quickly.
“The old boats were looking a bit long in the tooth so we replaced them with these new ones that are ideal for helping people get involved in sailing or for those wanting to race.”
The club has over 200 members of all ages and experiences on its books, who compete in club, regional and national events throughout the season.
It also became a Royal Yachting Association (RYA) recognised training centre in 2009, meaning it can offer a range of dinghy sailing and power boat courses.
The RYA OnBoard scheme, run by the club’s six fully-trained RYA coaches, gives budding young sailors the perfect chance to get involved in sailing through taster courses.
And Gledhill has called on budding young sailors and families to take advantage of the top facilities on offer at Wintersett Reservoir.
“We’ve still got plenty of members coming along and sailing at the club but it is an ageing membership,” he said.
“We’re looking to get more young families along to sail, families are the lifeblood of the club.
“We’re a family-orientated club and we hold a lot of social events here as well as competitive sailing.
“We’ve heard of young members going along to clubs for taster sessions, enjoying it, but then never returning after completing their course and we want to change that.”
Beginner sessions through the OnBoard scheme usually take place on Saturday.
The club, ultimately a racing club, holds numerous competitions throughout the year.
It has its own summer and winter competitions on a Sunday and a team also competes in the Northern Travellers tournament.
For more information on the club visit www.wrsc.org.uk or call James Porter on 01924 267789, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org for joining information.
See this week’s Hemsworth and South Elmsall Express for all the latest sports news from around the area.