Happy youngsters enjoying being OnBoard with the RYA scheme.

SAILING: OnBoard is the Royal Yachting Association’s grassroots programme to introduce young people to sailing.

It has resulted in more than 900,000 children getting involved in sailing since 2005. 

Some have gone on take part in international events, including Rose Edmonds, who sails at Snettisham Beach Sailing Club. 

She began at the club in 2010 when her family joined. 

“We heard that the club was planning to start running the RYA OnBoard course and a local mum was keen to make up the numbers so that the course ran, so Rose began sailing,” said her mum Sarah.

“She loved her time sailing in the club Oppies (Optimists – a small, single-handed sailing dinghy for children).

“She did her first Junior Sailing Week that year and every year since either as a participant. In the last couple of years she has been an instructor.”

Since then her sailing has continued to progress, and she quickly moved to Toppers, becoming involved in both club racing, and, in 2016, the RYA East Zone Championships at Grafham Water, where she won a bronze medal two years running. 

She was selected to join the RYA East Topper Zone Squad, taking part in both Zone and National events, progressing to the national squad, competing in the World Championship in China in 2018.

Rose moved into the 420 Youth fleet with her helm, Ellie Driver and within five month the pair qualified for the British squad to go to the World Championships in Portugal. 

Now aged 16, she has sailed this winter in the Sailing Juice Series and gained her race coach qualification. 

Snettisham Beach Sailing Club spokesman Jane Ellison, said the OnBoard scheme can  get the whole family involved in club life: “We have quite few sailors who started via OnBoard. 

“Most of our young instructors came into the club via OnBoard. 

“Run by the RYA, OnBoard is a grassroots programme, which introduces sailing and windsurfing to young people aged eight to 18, through schools, youth groups and training centres. 

The low-cost sessions are designed to promote equal access for all social and economic backgrounds. 

For more information about how to get involved, visit the www.rya.org.uk/go/