Junior sailors in the Royal Lymington Yacht Club’s Wednesday Junior Sailing programme have now benefitted from over £300,000 of donations from long term supporters Lymington Yacht Haven.
The Wednesday Junior Sailing (WJS) programme began in 1984 when a group of parents and yacht club members began organising sailing lessons for their children. Today, up to 100 local children per week are taking to the water and the club boasts several Olympians who came through the scheme including Pippa Wilson, Nick Thompson and Nick Rogers.
Lymington Yacht Haven has been supporting the club’s junior programme for over 20 years, with 2018’s donations taking their overall support to over £300,000. Their contributions have allowed the yacht club to buy and maintain a fleet of modern dinghies and safety RIBs, as well as paying for qualified instructors to run the weekly sessions.
Commenting on the long term partnership, Yacht Havens Ltd Chairman Dirk Kalis said, “This junior sailing programme has consistently provided local children with the invaluable opportunity to get on the water and discover the joy of sailing. Sailing is at the heart of Lymington as a town, so it is wonderful that local school children have the chance to experience the sport from a young age. As the main supporter of this programme, it has been our privilege to see so many sailors take to water year-after-year, with many becoming talented sailors and, in some cases, even Olympic champions!”
Royal Lymington Yacht Club Commodore and WJS volunteer Roger Garlick, said “The Royal Lymington Yacht Club is extremely proud of its community sailing project, which for the last 34 years has offered a fantastic opportunity for children of all abilities from local schools to learn to sail, race, row and develop leadership, teamwork skills and confidence in a fun, safe environment run by volunteers. This has only been made possible by the amazing continuing financial support from the Lymington Yacht Haven for over 20 years.”
Open to children aged 8 to 18 for just £1 per session, the programme runs annually from April to September allowing participants to develop from novices to confident and RYA qualified sailors.