Youngsters getting OnBoard with scheme

Youngsters getting OnBoard with scheme

By Laura Kitching

FRIENDS TOGETHER: Youngsters at the OnBoard Club, based at SailLaser Weymouth

A CHILDREN’S sailing club on Portland has seen interest hotting up thanks to sunshine, a new fleet of boats and a ‘Bring a Friend’ scheme.

More than 60 youngsters are now regularly attending the two OnBoard sessions held by SailLaser Weymouth at the borough’s National Sailing Academy at Osprey Quay.

OnBoard is the Royal Yachting Association’s national programme to introduce sailing and windsurfing as a sport for young people.

The local group is proving so popular that SailLaser Weymouth is now holding two club sessions – on Tuesday evenings from 5pm to 7.30pm and Saturday mornings from 10am to 12.30pm.

Sailing centre manager Warren Surtees said: “OnBoard is really starting to heat up as people are making the most of the good weather. Over 60 children have now joined and we regularly have around 30 children per session.

“We’ve got a new fleet of Laser FunBoats, which are providing great platforms for beginners to learn how to sail and build confidence.

“Our new ‘Bring a Friend’ scheme means OnBoard sailors can now bring a non-sailing friend to give them the opportunity to get into the sport.

This is proving very popular as they can take the opportunity to show their friends what they can do on the water.”

SailLaser Weymouth has also launched an OnBoard loyalty card scheme so that members who attend five sessions get a sixth for free.

Surtees added: “OnBoard is a cheap way for the local community to get involved with sailing.

“Following on from the Olympics last year and this year’s relaunch of the sail for £5 scheme we have seen numbers rise in sailing activity.

“SailLaser has a goal of getting 50 children involved in OnBoard every Tuesday evening and Saturday morning.

“The cost of the session is only £10 per child and it is the perfect way to practise skills you learn during the RYA courses and gain confidence and experience to move onto the next level.”

To find out more telephone SailLaser Weymouth on 0845 3373214.

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