sportscotland Chair, Louise Martin CBE and Minister for Communities and Sport, Stewart Maxwell took to the high seas today to announce a £337,080 investment in Royal Yachting Association Scotland (RYAS), the governing body for the sport of sailing in Scotland.
Accompanied by the National 420 Youth Champions, Peter Irwin and David Kohler, the new sportscotland Chair confirmed that the money, of which £189,080 is from the sportscotland Lottery Fund, would be used to develop the sport across the country.
“I am delighted that sportscotland is backing our talented Scottish sailors competing on the international stage, and by funding the ‘Sailing in the City’ programme, introducing thousands of children to this exciting sport and importantly, encouraging more active, healthy lifestyles.”
The success of double Olympic gold medallist Shirley Robertson has raised the profile of sailing in Scotland and there are a number of talented young sailors keen to follow in her footsteps. Part of the sportscotland funding will be used to support the next generation of Scottish sailors aiming for the London Olympics in 2012 and beyond.
Eleven young Scottish sailors are being fast-tracked for potential Olympic representation as part of a UK-wide initiative and three are already making their mark. Mark Andrews is a former World Junior Champion, Luke Patience took the European Junior title in 2006 while Helensburgh’s Charlotte Dobson narrowly missed out on qualification for the Beijing Olympics in the Laser Radial Class.
Twelve Scots are currently involved in the GB junior and youth squads and the RYAS are keen to increase that number in the build up to the Olympics in 2012. The funding announced today will play a part in realising those aspirations.
Louise Martin CBE, Chair, sportscotland said: “As an island nation, sailing is an important part of our heritage and we are delighted that our investment in RYAS will assist the organisation to continue that tradition by developing the sport across Scotland.
“RYAS has created a number of programmes designed to provide more opportunities for young people to become involved in the sport and to realise their potential. It is great to know that our funding has a key role in making that happen and we look forward to seeing our young sailors making their mark on the world stage.”
“sportscotland’s support – financial and professional – is extremely valuable. It is enabling more new sailors to enter the sport and helping Scotland create future champions.”.