Posted: Thu 29th Feb 2024

Gresford Sailing Club crowned ‘RYA Community Club of the Year’ for people living in or visiting the Wrexham area

A local sailing club has won a prestigious award in recognition of its work in helping to make the sport accessible to all.

Gresford Sailing Club received the ‘RYA Community Club of the Year’ accolade at a ceremony held on Saturday 24 February.

It is the second year that the volunteer-run organisation been shortlisted for the RYA Club of the Year Awards, supported by Gallagher.

Gresford Sailing Group was of four finalists for the Community Award, which celebrates organisations that provide “meaningful, welcoming and inclusive opportunities.”

The local club was was crowned the RYA Community Club of the Year and due to sponsorship from Suzuki Marine, Rigiflex andExtreme Trailers, won the prize of a new safety boat to support its on-the-water activities.

It received the award for its work in making sailing accessible to all.

Chief instructor Simon Jones said: “We couldn’t believe it when we were announced as the RYA Community Club of the Year.

“We were so excited and to win a new safety boat on top is fantastic, we will certainly make good use of it to support our junior sessions and training.

“It was really generous of the award sponsors and it will be a brilliant asset for the club.

“We really appreciate all the hard work that our members have put in over the years to get us to where we are now.

“It is wonderful for everyone involved with the club to achieve this national recognition.”

RYA Cymru Wales CEO James Stuart added: “We are delighted to see this award for Gresford SC. Sailing is all about engaging communities and creating that sense of belonging, and this is what the club does so well.

“We are about to launch our five-year strategy, Together on our Waters, which aims to see as many people as possible enjoying our amazing sport.

“Clubs are so important in realising this ambition and Gresford SC is leading the way.”

Gresford Sailing Club is located on The Flash on Old Wrexham Road, between Wrexham and Gresford, and has provided low cost and affordable sailing for local people over more than 60 years.

The club runs both informal sessions and racing, and as an RYA Recognised Training Centre provides courses and activities for all ages.

It also offers Sailability for disabled people, Stand Up Paddleboarding, and a model boat section.

The club is RYA OnBoard and RYA Sailability recognised for the quality of its provision for children aged 8-18 and for disabled people.

Children enjoy weekly sailing sessions on Friday evenings and there is a Pirate Day each year to celebrate their achievements.

In 2023 the club hosted young people participating in the Youth Pride Games in Wrexham, provided RYA courses for school children, and held taster sessions for Scout groups.

In partnership with the All Afloat charity in Wales, the club has three access dinghies to support sailing for people with disabilities, and it has provided opportunities for adults with learning difficulties via the charity Outside Lives.

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