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There was a great turnout of youngsters for the Chichester OnBoard Festival which took place on Saturday (31 August).

No less than 30 young OnBoarders, all under the age of 16, came along for a great day of junior sailing in Chichester Harbour.  

The event, which was organised by Christian Youth Enterprise (CYE) and Cobnor Activities Centre Trust (CACT), was open to all youngsters in the Chichester area aged 8 and upwards who were already being taught sailing through the RYA supported OnBoard programme. Children came from both the CYE and CACT OnBoard programmes as well as others from clubs and organisations around the area.  

The young sailors got to take part in a keelboat treasure hunt around the harbour, and sailing games which included a boating version of Pictionary.  During an ‘ice cream challenge’ the youngsters worked in teams paddling in a dinghy to collect different elements of an ice-cream i.e. the cone, flake and ice cream sauce and get it back to their team on shore. The winners were part of the team which had the most complete ice cream and the best story to tell about their ice cream adventure.  Some of the children also took part in a kayak adventure.   

The day provided perfect sunshine, with ideal conditions on the water in delightful classic Chichester harbour conditions.  The event was a great social get-together too, giving kids a big opportunity to see what it is like to be part of a team. Everyone enjoyed a barbecue too.  

Volunteers and centre staff all pitched in to help the day go smoothly.  Gary Palmer, Head of Centre at CACT explains “We wanted to run an OnBoard Festival so as to give every child in the local area an opportunity to get out on the water.”  

Lou Callaghan, Chief instructor at CYE, adds “When the youngsters arrived in the morning they were quite shy and quiet, but it was clear by the end of the day that a lot of new friendships had been made, and that is what this event is all about.”  

The completion of the CYE & CACT OnBoard Festival brings to a close the fantastic series of four RYA OnBoard Festivals that have taken place around the south during the summer of 2019. 

For more information visit our web page. Have a look at our video.    

Run by the RYA, OnBoard is a grass roots programme which introduces sailing and windsurfing to young people aged 8 to 18, through schools, youth groups and training centres.  Being on the water creates multiple situations where young people are challenged as they learn this new and exciting sport. From problem solving, and decision making, to leadership and teamwork, young OnBoarders will learn valuable life skills, all whilst having fun and making friends on the water. OnBoard provides a safe structure for this to happen and a great environment to help develop, stimulate and strengthen both mind and body. The low cost sessions are designed to promote equal access to sailing for young people from all social and economic backgrounds, whilst encouraging their character development.  

Since 2005, OnBoard has introduced more than 900,000 children to sailing and windsurfing in the UK, converting some 70,000 of them into regular participants.  

For more information about how to get involved in sailing visit the OnBoard web page.

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