This week, we’re shining a spotlight on Etherow Country Park Sailing Club, who have been named as finalists in RYA’s Green Club of the Year Category, recognising their fantastic and creative ways to reduce its environmental impact.
After losing both their electricity feed and water supply in a period of three months due to thieves at the end of 2021 and the beginning of 2022, the club saw an opportunity to go green.
The brilliant team at Etherow started the process with a rainwater harvesting system to manage their toilet water consumption and reduced their demand for electricity by replacing an inefficient 240L hot water tank with two 10L under-counter heaters, significantly reducing the electricity used on-site for hot water, without losing efficiency.
Their attention then moved to lighting and electric heating, the latter their biggest cost. With all lights replaced with energy-saving LEDs, their heating was also modernised with newer, lower kilowatt systems that reduced cost without the loss of efficiency.
Recycle and Repair
It wasn’t just the heating and water that benefitted from the new, greener philosophy at Etherow. Thanks to a committed team, they now recycle unwanted or abandoned boats, with their team repairing and upgrading the crafts. Once repaired and back to their best condition, the boats are offered to new members who, in turn, make a small donation to help pay for their training boats’ maintenance costs, making the sport we love more affordable and inclusive.
The drive to improve further
After a monumental start, Etherow certainly isn’t finished in their charge to become a greener club. A two-year plan of future projects is in place, including the potential of installing solar panels or other alternative generation schemes, introducing better carpool solutions for their members, improving insulation in changing rooms and much, much more.
Alongside this fantastic work to help improve the strain on the environment, they have certainly not forgotten about their members, with several improvements and initiatives planned in the coming 12 months to help better their experience.
From increased activities for all non-sailing family members to making more opportunities available for their members to experience other forms of boating, the team are keen to provide more options for everyone. And with more Family Fun events on Fridays and Saturdays and an extension of their evening social programme, a real sense of community is at the core of their club.
This well-deserved nomination celebrates an unbelievable achievement by everyone at Etherow Country Park Sailing Club, one which some incredible determination, commitment, and desire have greatly earned.
From everyone at RYA North West, we thank and congratulate you for your phenomenal dedication to providing opportunities to sail to those in our region.