Sail club celebrates 50th anniversary
THIS is set to be a landmark year for Hollowell Sailing Club, which is celebrating its 50th birthday this month by issuing a call for 1,000 local people to join the fun and to take up the sport of sailing.
Hollowell SC, winners of the RYA Club of the Year Award for Britain’s best sailing club in 2012, already has more than 400 people sailing regularly as club members. But the club has now launched ambitious plans to make the sport even more accessible for anyone within a 25-mile radius of Hollowell Reservoir, where the club is situated.
At the heart of the project is the desire to promote active lifestyles in line with the new Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) strategy. Through sailing, Hollowell aims to help increase and sustain participation in two-and-a-half hours of moderate intensity physical activity, once a week, for more than 1,000 local people.
As Rob Dunkley, Hollowell SC Commodore, said: “Residents of this area have indicated they have an interest in taking part in more sport and in particular watersports and we want to challenge them to do this.
“We’re passionate about messing about in boats and dinghy sailing can be anything you want it to be, from a lazy float about after a hard day at work, watching the evening sun, to a high adrenaline competitive race against the best. There is something to love and enjoy in this genuine sport for all.
“Without really knowing how, we have created a warm and welcoming community that shares its expertise, resources and enthusiasm with anyone who comes through the gate. We have invested heavily in our infrastructure over the past 20 years and have capacity for growth on the water. Our project is about increasing our capacity to reach out and meet more of the latent demand in our wider community.”
Hollowell SC will be opening its doors for anyone to try sailing and windsurfing for free when it hosts its annual Open Day on Saturday May 7, while the club’s Tuesday Tasters provide the chance for newcomers to get a more in-depth introduction to the sport. The club also runs Back On The Water sessions for people who may have sailed in the past, but want to rediscover the sport and brush up their skills.
The club also hopes to further strengthen links with local schools, community groups and other organisations. Hollowell is an RYA OnBoard club – providing low cost sailing opportunities for youngsters aged 8-18 – giving the club another platform to inspire the next generation. A family can sail for £14.50 a month at Hollowell and the club also has dinghies members can hire at low cost.
Rob added: “People form relationships on and off the water and enjoy the camaraderie. It is not just the number of times we launch and sail that counts, but it is all that goes alongside this to make us feel like being physically active all the time and over many years.”
Hollowell SC started with the launch of the first Mirror dinghy from a muddy shore in 1966 and, on Saturday April 23, the club will mark its Golden Jubilee with a special anniversary celebration and awards dinner.
For more information, visit: hollowellsc.org.uk
Pictured – COME SAIL WITH US: Learning the ropes is made easy at Hollowell SC, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary next weekend. Photo courtesy of Stewart Elder.