Funding to help community sailing thrive this spring

February 28, 2019

A local sailing centre is celebrating after a very successful 2018 and the securing of grant funding to allow them to continue their community work into spring 2019.

Colwyn Bay Watersports based at Porth Eirias has worked very closely with a number of local organisations to get youngsters from the area enjoying and learning about sailing and windsurfing. They have also been an important part of the physical education programmes at a large number of local secondary schools including Ysgol Eirias, Bryn Elian, Emrys ap Ewan and John Bright.

The success of the All Afloat programme with RYA Cymru Wales saw local children gaining advanced sailing tuition with many going on the compete across North Wales. One of the promising students, Bethany Doga a year 9 pupil at Ysgol Eirias, received a brand-new Topper boat from the John Merricks Sailing Trust in recognition of her drive, talent and commitment to the sport.

Bethany who is a member of the North Wales Regional Topper Squad has sailed since she was 10 and began her love of sailing at Colwyn Bay Watersports based in Porth Eirias. This season she has received three Gold medals for her sailing in the Club Youth Racing Circuit, the British Youth Sailing Welsh Regional Championships and the RYA On-Board North Wales Regatta.

“My biggest event so far was attending the BYS Championships in Milford Haven. The whole weekend was amazing and I met the Junior National Topper Champion and I thought anything is possible and that could be me one day!” said Bethany.

Taffy Osborne, Director of Colwyn Bay Watersports said how pleased he was at Bethany’s award. “We are very pleased to have been here at the start of her journey and here for many other young people looking to discover their passion. We hope she enjoys racing her new boat.”

A large number of local groups have also been frequent visitors to Colwyn Bay Watersports including the local disability group Conwy Connect, Conwy Veterans Hub and RNIB Cymru Wales to name but a few.

Thanks to funding from the Gwynt-y-Mor and Rhyl Flats, the centre will be aiming to serve many more young people, volunteers and community groups in 2019 and have committed to bring a number of additional watersports events to Colwyn Bay this year.

This includes the Student Windsurfing Nationals, a high-profile event in the university calendar supported by Bay of Colwyn Town Council which will see hundreds of students from across the country taking part in British University and College Sport awards. The event takes place over the weekend 27thand 28thApril.

The centre will also be visiting a number of partner schools this year to deliver Water Safety First Aid courses for free after statistics showed that young people are the most likely to get into trouble around water and in areas close to the sea.

Thanks to funding from players of the Postcode Lottery through the Postcode Community Trust, the centre will aim to see as many local pupils as possible over the summer months.

“We have enjoyed so much support from the community that is shaping up to be fantastic spring and summer season”, said Taffy.

“We’re once again looking forward to seeing many more young people benefiting from our tuition and we hope that we can play our part in the on-going positivity and confidence that Colwyn Bay is now enjoying”.