Have you tried: Push the Boat Out?
On May 15, I wrote about the RYA initiative Push the Boat Out, which encourages more people to try watersports. You can read the pdf or the full article below.
Push the Boat Out
What is it? Push the Boat Out is a have-a-go initiative to encourage more people to try watersports.
Tell me more: The Royal Yacht Association is behind the annual UK-wide Push the Boat Out programme.
The campaign offers the chance to try watersports such as dinghy sailing, windsurfing, keelboat sailing and kayaking for free or low cost.
In Scotland, people of all ages and abilities can attend sessions at 26 venues nationwide from now until Sunday, May 22.
Liza Linton is the development manager for RYA Scotland. She said: “This year, we’ve doubled the numbers of clubs and centres involved in the initiative so there are even more opportunities for people to try our sports.
“We really hope that we will be able to turn some of the first-timers into lifelong participants of our sport.”
Gordon Smith is the principal at Whiteadder Watersports Centre, near Duns, in the Borders.
He said: “Push the Boat Out is a great opportunity for our centre and for people lcoally.
“The scheme lets first-timers see a little of what sailing involves and will hopefully enthuse them to take up a new sport.”
Strathclyde Loch Sailing Club is offering free dinghy sailing taster sessions.
A spokesperson said: “The sailing session will be led by an experienced sailor and they will include lots of fun and games.”
Montrose Sailing Club has two-handed dinghy session with an experienced club member for beginners.
There will be dinghies, keelboats and powerboats available for taster sessions at Oban Sailing Club.
And at Prestwick Sailing Club a spokesperson said: “We are looking forward to showing people what sailing is all about.
“We plan to take people out dinghy sailing in Prestwick Bay in our club Bahia sailing dinghies and other two-man boats.”
To see these events and others in the Push the Boat Out campaign visit www.rya.org.uk/go/ptbo
Why try watersports?: Marc Turner is a keen sailor and works with RYA Scotland to promote the sport.
He believes the benefits of boating in general are wide-ranging and for all types of people.
He said: “The sport can be as physically demanding or as gentle as desired, so depending on what you are looking for their will be health advantages.
“These include better fitness and strength as well as de-stressing and relaxation.”
The sport is also good for co-ordination skills and for communication when working as part of a crew.
You can be as competitive, or not, and at all levels of the sports.
Marc said: “We have many high achieving Scottish athletes to be proud of.
“For example, two Scots Luke Patience and Charlotte Dobson, will compete in in Team GB at the Rio Olympics this year.
“There are also lots of national and club level competitions and for all ages and in a variety of classes.
“Then again, you can simply see sailing and watersports as a way to get away from everyday life and chill out.
“Alost 60 per cent of the UK coastline is in Scotland, where there are numerous lochs, shores and islands to explore by boat.
“I think we are blessed in this country and everyone should try taking to the water to find out for themselves what it’s all about.”
Anything else to know?: More than 65,000 people have participated in Push the Boat Out since its launch in 2012.
Last year, almost 28,500 newcomers attended events across the UK.
This year, the number of venues that have signed up to the campaign has doubled.
Find out more: www.rya.org.uk/go/ptbo