Young Felpham sailors awarded bursaries by RYA training fund

Three young Felpham sailors have received performance and coaching bursaries to help support their development.

Thursday, 13th February 2020, 3:49 pm

Felpham Sailing Club (FSC) members Jack Miller, Josie Kelly and Mia Gray have received the boost from the Royal Yachting Association (RYA) London and South East Youth Training Fund.

Jack, aged 18, has been awarded a coaching bursary while Josie and Mia, both 12, received performance bursaries.

Jack is the current West Sussex schools champion and also became an RYA dinghy instructor last summer and has since started coaching at FSC.

Jack Miller's father Paul Miller (who received the award on behalf of his son) with Mia Gray, Josie Kelly, FSC senior instructor Roger Belton and FSC commodore Guy Mayger

He said: “I am very grateful to receive the award and am looking forward to taking the race coach course so I can help other sailors have the same experience I was lucky enough to have.”

Josie started sailing in 2016 and finished third overall in the RS Tera Southern Traveller Series last year.

She said: “I am planning on putting some of the money towards a few competition entries next year and some towards a Laser 4.7 training sail so that I can progress further. I cannot thank the team behind this enough. I was over the moon and I am so excited to see the money put into action!”

Mia started sailing three years ago and finished third in two competitions in 2019 – in the Tera class at the West Sussex Schools Regatta and at the RYA Regional Youth Championships.

She has also gained her RYA assistant dinghy instructor qualification and is FSC’s youngest ever cadet captain.

Mia said: “I am really looking forward to choosing some equipment for my Tera, hopefully at the RYA Dinghy Show. Thank you everyone at the RYA for the award.”

The performance bursaries are awarded to promising young sailors who have demonstrated potential in events at regional, national or international level.

Coaching bursaries fund applicants who have shown the capability and enthusiasm to support their fellow sailors to attend an RYA race coach level two course.

Dave Ellis, chairman of the London and South East Youth Training Fund, said: “We have an abundance of talent in the region and we want to give our young sailors, whether destined for ‘podiums’ or as coaches, the best chance to realise their ambitions.”