A Norfolk college has joined forces with Whitlingham Outdoor Education Centre, the Royal Yachting Association and Sportivate to offer sailing to students.

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The Easton College Sailing Club was launched today with a celebratory event at the Whitlingham centre.

Since last April, around 80 young people have enjoyed sailing at Whitlingham, many for the first time, through the RYA’s OnBoard Programme aimed at making young people regular sailors.

Through funding from Sportivate, the RYA and the college, young people from the college undertook a six-week course last year, and have been able to continue sailing through a regular Wednesday club, which started again for the new year today. The college hopes that students will take an active role in the running and management of the club.

OnBoard co-ordinator for East Norfolk, Holly Hancock arranged the link between the organisations, and said: “It’s great to see young people enjoying learning to sail. I look forward to the club going from strength to strength.”

Over a 10-year period OnBoard aims to introduce a minimum of 500,000 children to sailing and windsurfing in the UK, converting over 10pc of them into regular participants.

Meanwhile, James Humphreys, a student on the college’s BTEC sport course, began sailing last year, and has enjoyed the experience so much he is now pursuing a career in outdoor education to put his new found skills to full use, rather than taking a physiotherapy degree.

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