Take up watersports at Cheddar Reservoir

PUBLISHED: 09:13 09 March 2018

Cheddar watersports.

Cheddar watersports.

Archant

A variety of watersports is being offered by Cheddar Watersports based on the reservoir.

A Somerset-based watersports club is bucking the trend of declining participants with a host of new activities aimed at getting more people enjoying time on the water.

This includes stand-up paddleboarding (SUP), one of the fastest growing watersports in the world, SUP yoga, sailing and windsurfing experiences, and a Guinness world record attempt focussed on educating young people about recycling plastics.

Cheddar Watersports is based at Cheddar Reservoir and is the home of BCYC, a sailing and windsurfing club which has been established for more than 80 years. However, over recent years the club went through a period of declining membership and two years ago faced the threat of closure.

Now, with help from an active group of local volunteers, the club is facing a bright future with a host of new and exciting activities which is encouraging people of all ages to get out on the water.

Although trends nationally for boating are declining and watersports activities are perceived as hard to access, many people want to have a go at watersports because of its health and well-being benefits.

Club secretary Alice Driscoll said: “Being able to get out on the water, enjoy time together with family and friends, learn new skills and have amazing experiences is something that many people aspire to.”

“We are now able to offer exciting new activities such as stand-up paddleboarding, SUP yoga, canoeing and kayaking, with a range of taster experiences, ‘how to’ sessions aimed at all age groups, improvers and back to sailing courses, and family fun weeks.”

One of the major changes that has enabled this development is Bristol Water’s support for an increased scope of managed watersports at Cheddar Reservoir.

New trial arrangements for club members include paddlesports and seven day a week access to the water.

Steve Smith, Bristol Water’s lakeside services manager said: “Cheddar Watersports are a great example of how a community can come together to provide safe watersports activities and maintain a harmony with wildlife. Get inspired and get involved.”

The club is holding its Push the Boat Out open day on May 26 where anyone, aged from eight to over 80, is welcome to come and try watersports for just £5.

Cheddar Watersports will also be a host venue for a Guinness world record on June 27, when an attempt for ‘the most plastic bottle boats launched simultaneously’ will take place.

Schools can sign up online at www.plasticbottleboatchallenge for online teaching resources for model boat making, floating and sinking, and information about plastics in the environment.

“As well as learning about eliminating plastic waste, schools can get their children to come and have a go at watersports through our OnBoard activities,” said BCYC’s OnBoard Instructor Izzy Savage.

Qualified instructors at Cheddar Watersports are offering a range of taster experiences and courses for dinghy sailing, windsurfing, and stand up paddleboarding.

“We’re teaming up with Cheddar Woods resort to offer its guests watersports experiences, which compliments their land based activities, gym and spa.

“The instructor team at Cheddar Woods will be having a taster session on March 19 to demonstrate what fun it is on and in the water,” concludes club training principal Johnny Allen.

For more information please contact BCYC secretary Alice Allen at secretary@bcyc.org.u or 07971 019377.

For those wishing to take part, wetsuits and buoyancy aids are provided – bring towel for hot showers. BCYC is located at Cheddar Reservoir, BS26 2DL. The road entrance is at the Axbridge end.

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