Dabchicks: A RYA Champion Club
A RYA Champion Club is essentially a club which makes a commitment to deliver safe, effective racing and race training in the RYA recognised classes - these are the Topper, Mirror, Cadet, Laser 4.7, Optimist, & RS Feva. Additionally, club's which are CC's agree to support (via well organised coaching as well as advice, expertise and encouragement) the on going development of young sailors within their club and help to facilitate their progression into regional competition and subsequently into RYA squad programmes. In short if you are keen for your young sailor to progress down the competitive dinghy/windsurf racing route there is no better foundation of training. It truly represents the bedrock of the RYA's Youth programmes.
Also, increasing the numbers of talented young sailors is good for the RYA (and good for our future Olympic efforts) in addition these club programmes are good for clubs and our sport. Having a thriving junior/youth section which consistently introduces young people is a sure-fire way for a club to increase membership and therefore raise revenue. Engaging with young people and their families can assist a club to be healthy and vibrant, as well as offer a supply of keen volunteers to help fulfil the various roles connected with the effective running of a club.
For parents and sailors CC's should be sociable, involving, fun and safe places to spend time with like minded families enjoying an active sport.
The RYA works with the clubs to provide a range of benefits but also to ensure that the clubs are committed to engaging parents (sailors or otherwise) with the activity. Sailing Clubs are a great place to support a youngsters activity by helping out. Irrespective of what your individual skills are there are worthwhile and valuable tasks which you can help out with in order to underpin the activity and whilst also seeing your youngster develop as a sailor and an individual.
Why should I be interested in joining a RYA Champion Club?
Once engaged in a training programme within a RYA Champion Club there are a number of options - most will receive advice and support from club youth coordinators, coaches, or other parents on when/how to progress in to the RYA Zone/Home Country squad programmes which directly feed the GBR National Junior Squad's. In many ways the CC brings together numbers of families and volunteers who share the same aspirations and objectives for their sailing, and are keen to facilitate the progression of their youngsters.
From here, talent and commitment permitting sailors can progress into the RYA Youth and Olympic Programmes and CC's offer the spring board to progress in this direction. In this regard it is a well trodden path - almost all of Team GBR's sailors have emanated from a club which provided well organised and structured race training. In essence having a good fleet of like minded sailors in your class to race and train with every week really does make a huge difference to a sailor's progression, as well as the obvious benefits from a social point of view. We recognise that progressing into Olympic sailing is obviously not for everyone and many graduates from RYA Champion Clubs will choose to progress into other disciplines of the sport like the RYA Keelboat programme, University team/match racing or choose to join the circuits of some of the 'traditional' domestic classes.
Importantly, often within CC's sailors and their parents can gain relevant sports related qualifications (instructor, coach, powerboat qualifications etc.) in order to enable them to volunteer to support their CC, or even enjoy a career within the industry.
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