Cobnor centre wants to inspire sailing's next generation

Cobnor Activities Centre Trust is on course to inspire the next generation of sailors after joining RYA OnBoard – the national grassroots scheme which makes it easier and cheaper to get more young people on the water.

Friday, 22nd February 2019, 3:51 pm
Updated Friday, 22nd February 2019, 3:54 pm
Out on the water at Cobnor

OnBoard gives anyone aged eight to 18 the chance to learn to sail by providing low cost opportunities for schools, youth groups and families to have fun afloat, as youngsters at the activity centre at Chidham will now find out.

Hannah Cockle, OnBoard operations officer, said: “It’s great to welcome Cobnor Activities Centre to the OnBoard programme. Sailing is a fantastic sport no matter what your age, background or ability. We look forward to working with the centre and the local community to get as many people as possible enjoying our great sport.”

Gary Palmer, head of the centre, said: “I am delighted for the centre to be recognised as OnBoard which opens up more opportunities for us at grass roots level.

“Becoming an OnBoard club is an exciting development for Cobnor Activities Centre and supports our values as a charity. The OnBoard programme will enable many young people to access sailing and its benefits.

“Founded by local business and supported by the volunteers of Cobnor Activities Centre, this has enabled the trust to support young people and families who would not normally be able to afford such an experience.

“The trust aims to use the OnBoard programme as a regular opportunity each year to support local schools, children and families who receive a means-tested benefit.

“Through the regular attendance of the programme we will support and further encourage a group of young people to develop and take part in racing events and progress in other opportunities through sailing such as the RYA coaching awards which will support first time entry in employment.”

Run by sailing’s national governing body the RYA, OnBoard isn’t about producing champions, although many youngsters do go on to excel in dinghy and windsurf racing.

It is about local youngsters discovering what an exciting, challenging, sociable or simply relaxing outdoor activity sailing can be. As a recognised RYA Training Centre Cobnor Activities Centre conforms to the highest standards of safety and quality.

Alistair Dickson, RYA Director of Sport Development, said: “We are delighted to welcome Cobnor Activities Centre OnBoard.

“OnBoard is all about a fun, safe and structured introduction to sailing. It is fantastic that more youngsters in the Chichester area will have the opportunity to be introduced to sailing and be nurtured to become life-long participants within the sport.

“As we now know, sailing not only provide participants with a hugely rewarding life-hobby, but they can also provide participants with character attributes which are clearly evidenced to help young people to really get on in life.”

Since 2005, OnBoard has helped more than 750,000 young people try sailing and windsurfing and learn an activity that often stays with them for life.

Discover how you can get OnBoard at Cobnor Activities Centre Trust or find your nearest OnBoard club at