Grants of up to £10,000 will be awarded to 17 Sailability and OnBoard venues throughout England for projects that aim to tackle inequalities in sport and help reduce the negative impact of Covid-19.
The £150,000 of National Lottery Funding was awarded to the RYA from the Sport England Tackling Inequalities Fund, which benefits organisations running projects that engage with lower socio-economic groups, ethnically diverse communities, disabled people and people with long term health conditions.
For example, in the Liverpool City Region, which has one of the highest levels of deprivation in the country, Crosby Lakeside Adventure Centre is using the funding to offer highly subsidised windsurfing and Sailability sessions to help make the sport more accessible to a wider audience.
The funding is also giving the centre the potential to offer opportunities for young adults to train to be instructors in exchange for voluntary work once qualified.
Simon Pendlebury, development manager at the centre, said: “Windsurfing has been in a steady decline for a number of years. Without more investment in the sport there is a risk that it could fade away completely. Projects like this will hopefully engage with a new cohort of budding windsurfers and allow more people the opportunity to experience the thrill windsurfing provides.”
Another venue awarded funding is Croydon Sailing Club with a project in conjunction with Croydon Youth and Schools Sailing Association providing sailing opportunities through Scout groups for youngsters living in deprived areas surrounding the club.