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Sailing’s national governing body has flagged up Kintyre Seasports’ innovative approach in a formal recognition letter.
The text of that letter, from the Royal Yachting Association’s (RYA) chief executive, James Allen, sent to the Seasports chairman, Campbell Fox, reads as follows:
‘RYA Scotland has been supporting Campbeltown Sailing Club throughout the inception and evolution of Kintyre Seasports SCIO.
‘We are very pleased to see the project move forward to the current position where a broad range of partners and potential funders are actively engaged in the effort to bring the project to fruition.
‘While our interest is focused on the sailing and powerboating aspects, we fully understand the benefits of working with other water based sports to create a community asset, within which we create synergies, economies and share skill sets.
‘It is a model that is worthy of replicating elsewhere and one which closely aligns with general development in community sport across Scotland.
‘We firmly believe the new Kintyre Seasports facility will create a hub within the community of Campbeltown where all members of the community can learn, practice, train and enjoy an active engagement in the sea.
‘Such opportunities are known to provide a tangible connection to improvements in health, social cohesion through volunteering and introduce many, particularly young people, to their first structured employment as instructors within their chosen water sport.
‘We are clear that developing grass roots opportunities within sailing and powerboating as well as other sports, provides young people with positive habits and skills that last a lifetime and invariably enhance employability.
‘We find the club environment is also an excellent place for the development of interpersonal skills, intergenerational relationships and to experience positive role models from many walks of life.
‘Families enjoy a place which is safe for children and supports the active participation of parents in sport, sustaining lifelong participation and encouraging family cohesion through sharing of activity.
‘The uniqueness of sailing is that there are no barriers to participation.
‘Those aged from eight-years-old to 80, with disability or able bodied, LGBT or otherwise can share the same activity, learn and compete on an equal basis with minimal adjustments and are bonded by their love of boating.
‘There is every reason to expect that the Kintyre Seasports Project will be a shining example of inclusion.
‘The full potential of the project lies in the wider connections across the communities of interest the facility will serve.
‘Campbeltown sits on one of the most varied and interesting stretches of water in Scotland having benefits of both the shelter for Campbeltown Loch and immediate access to wider open sea in the Kilbrannan Sound and the Irish Sea.
‘In addition to becoming a hub of community activity, it is entirely conceivable that future events in dinghy racing, sea kayaking, coastal rowing and yacht racing will find a regular home in Campbeltown, facilitated by the skills and resources of the Kintyre Seasports Project.
‘RYA Scotland is excited by the prospects of the Kintyre Seasports Project and remains committed to supporting its development for the future.
‘We commend the efforts of all in reaching this point and look forward to being a part of one of Scotland’s most innovative water sport developments.’
The seasports initiative has boosted membership at Campbeltown Sailing Club from 65 to more than 100.
It has also led to RYA experts such as Instructor of the Year 2016, Alastair Mackay in 2017 and Calum Nicol in 2018 leading courses in Campbeltown.
Early supporters of the Kintyre Seasports Project during 2015, from left: Jamie MacLean, Dalintober Beach Regeneration Group chairman, Iain Cameron, sailing instructor, Donnie Cameron, CO of Campbeltown Sea Cadets, Mandy Robertson, Kintyre Youth Cafe manager, Campbell Fox, Campbeltown Sailing Club commodore and James Arbuckle, sailing instructor. 25_c25seasports01
Argyll and Bute MP Brendan O’Hara and Councillor John Armour also three their weight behind the project in July 2015. Seen here with Campbell Fox. 25_c33seasports01
RYA Instructor of the Year 2016, Alastair Mackay, floats Campbeltown Sailing Club’s venerable GP14 in 2017. 25c33dinghcourse02
RYA instructor Calum Nicol, in the rescue boat, during the dinghy course organised this year by CSC member Sid Gallagher, explains one of the finer points of sail to Drew McLellan and Caius Walker who has his back to the camera. 25_c29sailing15_CalumNicol_Drew_McLellan_Caius_Walker