Families urged to push the boat out and try sailing

Families are being invited to try sailing for free.
Families are being invited to try sailing for free.

Families in the Bassetlaw area are being invited to learn sailing for free as part of a national initiative.

Several sailing clubs, including the one at Daneshill Lakes, near Retford, are opening their doors this weekend for the local community to get on board for a new adventure.

It’s all part of a Push The Boat Out ‘have-a-go’ scheme set up throughout May by the Royal Yachting Association (RYA) at venues across the country.

Most ages and all abilities are welcome, with opportunities for children, beginners and lapsed sailors, as well as those with disabilities or special requirements for getting out on the water.

Michelle Gent, the RYA’s programmes manager, said: “We are looking forward to another fantastic month of Push The Boat Out events and opportunities to try sailing.

“Many people don’t realise there is a club and a gateway to the water on their doorstep. This is a brilliant chance to get involved and to find out more.”

Daneshill Lakes, which is located between Torwouth and Lound, is an area of disused and flooded gravel pits that has been turned into a local nature reserve, run by the Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust.

The sailing club will be holding its open day this Sunday from 11 am to 4 pm when dinghy sailing will be on offer for anyone from the age of eight.

All kit and safety equipment will be provided, so all you will need is a pair of old trainers that you don’t mind getting wet, as well as your sense of adventure and fun.

A similar event was held at a club in Wales last weekend, and a spokesman said: “The feedback was amazing. People said they enjoyed going fast and getting wet, and were interested in getting further training and joining the club.”

Michelle added: “With so much national focus on physical and mental wellbeing, being on the water gives everyone a chance to get away from modern life, spend time with the family, have fun with friends and just enjoy the feeling of being in the fresh air and closer to nature.

“Many of the Push The Boat Out venues will also be putting on shore-side activities, such as barbecues and games for the kids.”

Daneshill Sailing Club is one of more than 390 RYA-affiliated clubs and training centres across the UK that are inviting people to join in the Push The Boat Out initiative.

Almost 22,000 people regularly go along to their local sailing club every month across the Midlands alone, getting on the water in small sailboats or windsurfing on the region’s reservoirs, lakes and rivers.

The RYA is the national body for dinghy, yacht and motor cruising, all forms of sail racing, sportsboats, windsurfing and personal watercraft.

It is estimated that four million people in the UK take part in some form of boating activity every year.