VIDEO: RYA Foundation Youth Fund supports young sailors

A new fund from the RYA Foundation is supporting young people to achieve their potential in sailing.

The RYA Foundation Youth Fund was gifted with the funds remaining when the John Merricks Sailing Trust (JMST) was closed in October 2022. It’s open to committed young sailors under 25, who don’t have the opportunity or financial backing to achieve their goals.

Grant applications can be made to help with:

  • Purchases of boats, rigs, and other boating-related equipment and clothing
  • Payment for courses such as instructor or coaching qualifications
  • Funds for travel expenses, entry fees, accommodation, squad membership, fees/costs and other expenses.

17-year-old Will Dyson from the North-West was the first beneficiary of this new fund. A grant made it possible for him to compete at the July 2023 ILCA 6 Youth Europeans in Poland.

Will explained: “It’s the biggest event I have ever done by far. There were 383 boats there from over 40 different countries, so it was very diverse with a broad range of sailors. It was amazing fun and helped me as a sailor.

“Funding makes a difference, especially for sailors from a background where maybe they don’t have as much money as others. They can still go to events, and it removes the financial barriers”.

Debbie Blachford, Chair of the Foundation Trustees adds: “This new fund is a first for the RYA Foundation which traditionally awards grants to groups rather than individuals.

“We’re delighted to open opportunities for young people who are committed to the sport but lack the funds to realise their potential. We know there are a lot of individuals and projects that need funding, but we don’t always get to hear about them”.

The RYA Foundation gives grants to provide boating opportunities for those in need by reason of age, ill-health, disability, financial or other disadvantage. Since its creation in 2013, nearly 15,000 people have been helped to get on the water and experience the joy and freedom of sailing.

Find more information about the RYA Foundation

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