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Lymington Town Sailing Club in the running for prestigious Royal Yachting Association and Yachts and Yachting Club of the Year Award

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LYMINGTON Town Sailing Club is in the running for a prestigious national award.

Delighted club chiefs will learn tomorrow (Saturday) if it has won the Royal Yachting Association (RYA) and Yachts and Yachting Club of the Year Award for 2022, having been named as a southern region finalist.

The winner will be crowned at the two-day Royal Yachting Association (RYA) Dinghy and Watersports Show at Farnborough International this weekend, with LTSC up against nine other clubs based around the UK.

Lymington Town Sailing Club
Lymington Town Sailing Club

Lymington Town Sailing Club Commodore, Tony Evans, said: "Everyone associated with the club is absolutely delighted with the nomination.

"This adds further acknowledgement to the effort, put in by so many, to create a direction and strategy for LTSC that is in line with its members requirements and the trends within the marine sector."

If it wins it will be a double celebration for the club – which has already been awarded a special recognition in the ‘modern, innovative and forward thinking’ category for delivering expanded boating and participant activity over the past three-and-a-bit years.

That follows LTSC breaking from traditional ways and launching a new Watersports Training Centre and a new team of paid instructors.

Mr Evans explained: "The move to introduce a Watersports Training Centre was triggered very much by industry reports and market statistics that began to indicate clear trends from 2018.

"These trends clearly indicated major growth in the popularity of many watersports activities, such as stand-up paddle boarding, rowing and kayaking, and a steady decline in participation in sailing.

"Hence, we felt introducing these growing activities within the club would be beneficial to both retention of existing members and acquisition of new members. This has certainly proved to be the case."

He said the club’s move to a partial paid coaching model ensured professional coaches were available for all activities and could support its regular core of volunteers and that boosted training opportunities.

Mr Evans said those changes, along with initiatives such as a new partnership with the local outdoor sea pool, the launch of its RYA OnBoard programme and links to schools, have helped the club "set a record-breaking year for youth and junior participation".

During the last two years, the number of organised sessions on the water and access to a wider variety of watersports have been improved, while it has also extended its opening hours and enhanced its food offering.

The club, which celebrated its 75th anniversary this year, was also quick to react to the local needs of the NHS during Covid lockdowns, with members sewing scrubs and producing PPE equipment for frontline NHS workers.

It also made charitable contributions which delivered benefits for Lymington Sailability, Oakhaven Hospice, Olivia Inspires and Greig City Academy.

Susie Moore, RYA south regional development officer, adds: "Huge congratulations to Lymington Town Sailing Club for being shortlisted in the RYA Club of the Year as well as for the individual special recognition, of which only four are given out across the UK."

For more information and to buy tickets for the event visit www.rya.org.uk/events/dinghy-show

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