Sailing grants specifically for young sailors are now available through the RYA Foundation Youth Fund

Sailing grants from the RYA are now available to help young sailors progress in the sport.

The RYA Foundation has launched the new RYA Foundation Youth Fund. It is open those aged under 25, who don’t have the opportunity or financial backing to achieve their sailing goals.

The RYA Foundation Youth Fund was gifted the funds remaining when the John Merricks Sailing Trust (JMST) was closed in October 2022.

Applications for sailing grants can be submitted for help with the purchase of boats, rigs, and other boating-related equipment and clothing, payment for courses such as instructor or coaching qualifications or funds for travel expenses, entry fees, accommodation, squad membership, fees/costs and other expenses.

The first beneficiary of the new fund was Will Dyson. The grant made it possible for the 17-year-old to compete at the July 2023 ILCA 6 Youth Europeans in Poland.

“It’s the biggest event I have ever done by far,” explained Will. “There were 383 boats there from over 40 different countries, so it was very diverse with a broad range of sailors. It was amazing fun and helped me as a sailor.

“Funding makes a difference, especially for sailors from a background where maybe they don’t have as much money as others. They can still go to events, and it removes the financial barriers,” he added.

The chair of the foundation trustees, Debbie Blachford said the RYA Foundation Youth Fund was a “first for the RYA Foundation” which traditionally awards grants to groups rather than individuals.

“We’re delighted to open opportunities for young people who are committed to the sport but lack the funds to realise their potential. We know there are a lot of individuals and projects that need funding, but we don’t always get to hear about them,” she added.

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The RYA Foundation gives grants to provide boating opportunities for those in need by reason of age, ill-health, disability, financial or other disadvantage.

Since its creation in 2013, nearly 15,000 people have been helped to get on the water and experience the joy and freedom of sailing.

Those wanting to apply for a grant from the RYA Foundation Youth Fund should visit

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