Helping children of serving Royal Navy families to access watersports

The Royal Naval Sailing Association (RNSA) is delighted to have launched its Youth Crew programme this Easter.  The idea is to make sailing fun and accessible to the families of Royal Navy, Royal Marine and Royal Fleet Auxiliary personnel based across the UK.

Aimed towards children aged 11 to 17, no previous experience is necessary with all training and certification provided free of charge thanks to the generous funding of Greenwich Hospital.  The courses are delivered through the Not-For-Profit Andrew Simpson Foundation, and the first sailing weeks were held during the Easter Holidays at Centres in Portsmouth, Portland and Plymouth. The next opportunity to book a space on the Youth Crew is the May half term.

Sailing is widely acknowledged to provide a great vehicle to develop life skills in young people, including self-confidence, team working, communication skills, resilience, a willingness to try new things and making friends.  Furthermore, it can really help to improve overall health and well-being of the whole family unit.

The first block of sailing weeks covered sessions of RYA Youth Sailing Stage 1 & 2, plus Swim England water safety sessions. Future Sailing weeks will take part from across the UK, including sites in Devon, Scotland, Dorset, Berkshire, Hampshire and the West Midlands. All specialist sailing equipment, wetsuits and buoyancy aids are provided. See the website for further details.

Encouraging participation after the courses for those who wish is important and the concept behind RNSA’s Youth Crew is that the young people form part of a group that will help them continue their sailing journey.

Open Days have also been held for children and families from the Royal Navy, Royal Marines and Royal Fleet Auxiliary. The Open Days were a perfect opportunity to learn about what the RNSA Youth crew has to offer, as well as being fun day on the water for all, consisting of a mix of sailing and paddlesports.

RNSA’s Chief Executive Officer, Philip Warwick said:

“I am so excited about this opportunity to encourage sailing by Service personnel and their families. The Youth Crew programme sits alongside our Sail Together initiative as we work to embed sailing and its many benefits as a life-long pastime for the Naval community.  I am hugely grateful to Greenwich Hospital for their funding and energy, the RYA for their strong support and to Andrew Simpson Foundation for their expertise and close partnership work.”

RNSA’s Youth Sailing Coordinator, Josh Atherton said:

“So far the opening Sailing weeks have been fantastic, getting to see young people out and about on the water is really exciting, and there’s been a great buzz around the Centres.”

If you would like to speak to us before booking, or to talk about an existing booking, please visit the website or contact our Youth Crew team via  or 07396 804 085.

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