September 25th, 2016

Female sailing on the up in Solihull

EARLSWOOD Lakes Sailing Club is proving ‘This Girl Can’ thanks to special new ‘females-only’ sessions to get more women sailing.

So far more than 20 females have been taking advantage of the club’s monthly exclusive ladies sessions since they started at Windmill Lake in May in line with Sport England’s ‘This Girl Can’ campaign to get more females into sport.

Earlswood Lakes recognised the potential to get more women on the water last summer, and appointed a Ladies Rep, Marie Bond, whose role was to look at how the club could encourage and nurture more female sailors.

With the project already paying dividends, Earlswood Lakes are looking at how they can build on this early success to keep getting more females afloat.

Marie said: “Although the club is renowned for being a small but friendly and welcoming club, as a female who is either new to sailing or a new member, it can be quite nerve-racking and intimidating sailing on a lake with a group of experienced sailors that are predominantly male.

“Some lady sailors needed a different mechanism for mutual support and development. We had 13 ladies out on the water for the first session, which was a great turn out. Some were new members who had just completed their RYA Level 1 learn to sail course with us, together with ladies that had completed courses 10-20 years ago!

“With coaching from RYA Senior Instructor, Matt French, and volunteers from our club instructors plus a safety boat driver, everyone got an opportunity to helm, before with everyone safely back on dry land we celebrated with tea and cakes in the bar! The enthusiasm was fantastic and everyone was keen for the sessions to continue.”

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