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Burntwood charity hoping to get more youngsters sailing and windsurfing at Chasewater

A Burntwood sailing charity is aiming to double the number of young people it gets on the water during 2o18.

Youth Sailing @ Chasewater (YS@C), part of The Chase Sailing Club, will be scrubbing down their boats and boards in April before they start welcoming new members aboard to discover more about sailing and windsurfing.

The charity is part of RYA OnBoard – a national scheme aiming to make it cheaper for youngsters to participate.

Young sailors receiving their awards

Young sailors receiving their awards

One of the members, Daniel O’Connor, said his confidence and social skills had improved since taking part in sessions in May last year.

Daniel, who scooped the club’s most promising sailor and best attendance awards at the end of the year, said: “Sailing’s given me the knowledge I can be good at something.

“I’ve become more confident and independent since starting to sail and have also learnt by my mistakes. This has helped in other areas of my life and school as it’s made me realise not to give up if I get something wrong but to keep trying until I get it right.

“I enjoy being in charge of the boat, going fast and setting myself challenges. It’s also fun to capsize!

“I like helping people less experienced than me, and this year I want to help teach younger children.”

The charity runs a number of initiatives for youngsters aged 10 to 18 to hone their skills, including weekly three-hour Saturday morning sessions that run until October.

There is also a chance to learn the ropes and try sailing or windsurfing during the RYA Push The Boat Out open day on May 7, while a two-day learn-to-sail course takes place on May 12 and 13.

Libby Constance, YS@C training officer, said: “What sailing can do for young people goes beyond the notion of sport – it’s everything else that comes from being on the water in a boat or on a board.

“As well as the physical and mental benefits of having fun in the fresh air, sailing is proven to develop key life skills in young people, including teamwork, confidence, communication, determination, independence and creativity.

“We’re looking forward to helping more young people get OnBoard this year.”

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