More than 370 sailing venues across the UK will be giving people of all ages and abilities the opportunity to get out on the water and discover a new sport this May with RYA Push the Boat Out.
The nationwide event returns for nine days this year from 13-21 May and will see thousands of people having a go at sailing and windsurfing at free and low cost taster sessions across the UK.
Alistair Dickson, Royal Yachting Association (RYA) director of sport development said: ‘During the two weekends and five weekdays, more sailing clubs and centres than ever before will be showcasing what the sport has to offer, from the freedom of being on the water to the social buzz, the thrill of racing and the fact that there really is something for everyone.
‘Sailing is such an accessible sport and many people aren’t aware of the opportunities available close to them or how affordable the sport can be, even for the whole family. Push the Boat Out is all about making that connection and we’re delighted to have so many venues taking part this year.’
Since 2013, more than 90,000 people have experienced sailing at Push the Boat Out events, with hundreds becoming members of sailing clubs and signing up for courses.
Saskia Clark, Rio 2016 gold medallist and London 2012 silver medallist dinghy sailor, said: ‘I got into sailing through my local sailing club so it’s fantastic to see so many people given the opportunity to discover what the sport’s all about right on their doorstep. If you want to inspire your non-sailing friends and family to giving sailing and windsurfing a go, make sure you put Push the Boat Out in the diary.’
RYA Scotland is celebrating a record number of 42 clubs and centres signed up for this summer’s Push The Boat Out campaign.
Liza Linton, RYA Scotland development manager said: ‘Push The Boat Out wouldn’t be possible without the help of the clubs and centres all over Scotland so we are extremely pleased that so many have registered their events with us. As part of a national campaign to get people out on the water and trying our sport, it is the best opportunity we have to promote the sport and hopefully attract some new members and participants.
‘We started off with just 12 clubs and centres taking part in 2015 so the increase to 42 really demonstrates just how successful the open events have been in getting more people to experience our sport for the first time and in a way that helps them to stay involved in the future.’
Moira Moore, Commodore of Banff Sailing Club said: ‘Banff Sailing Club have signed up for Push The Boat Out again this year due to the success we had in attracting people to the event last year. An event like this gives the club a chance to focus solely on speaking to new people interested in sailing and leaves them with a positive experience which hopefully encourages them to integrate into the club in the future. The nationwide publicity for the event with RYA Scotland helps enormously.’
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Beating off stiff competition, the Lake District club was specifically recognised for their efforts in increasing participation.