Thanks to the Push the Boat Out promotion
and favourable weather conditions we had an amazing turnout – 110% increase on last years attendance for a one day event.
Club members took an astounding 131 persons out for a taster sail on our lake. 50% were children and young persons including some 17 under fives! “They all just want to have a go and experience what it is like out on the water. It was a positive experience for all young families who we hope will keep coming back so that when they are older they will want to undertake water sports”.
Felicity who had never sailed before, had a go in a topper and had an unexpected dip in the water, “it was such fun, I had a fantastic time, want to learn to sail and do this again” .
Push the boat out day is an opportunity to make the local community aware of the club’s existence and the fact that they can join our club to sail a dinghy within London.
It was a combined effort all round. Once members saw the huge desire for the public to have a go, they kept launching more boats. Whilst the Elderly Day Centre based on the site provided a tasty snack for all concerned; other club members supervised the model boat building competition. At one stage I turned around and saw a row parents and their kids totally engaged in constructing their boats. A mum was ensuring her son took care using a hacksaw to cut a dowel for the mast and dads hunted around for sticks as supplies ran out. Many came off the water elated!
One lady said she had lived in Crystal Palace for 15 years and said, “I never knew there was a sailing club and lake here!”
Some adults admitted they had undertaken courses before in their youth and the Open Day had spurred them into action to get back on the water , Sam said, “If I join now , when can I come and take a dinghy out, I can’t wait!”.
Many women showed a keen interest this year and we took out some persons with disabilities. Families with children in the 7-11 age group formed the bulk of persons showing an interest and were asking whether the club had the facilities for them to sail together We were able to demonstrate to our funders that we are aiming to make dinghy sailing accessible to all and continue to move forward to expand our facilities and club boats, we to enable as many people as possible to enjoy sailing and enjoy the friendship that exists amongst club members here on South Norwood Lake.