History of our Club

1977 - Present

How it all began

In 1977 Dick Fuller, Phil Boocock and Barry Welham-Jones had a vision for a shared sailing facility for Youth and School organisations.

The groups had their own dinghies and worked as autonomous organisations sharing facilities…………..a storage compound, a tap and a shed for changing! 

From these humble beginnings the Centre developed into a Youth Group in its own right, with its own fleet of dinghies and canoes.

Developing Arun Youth Aqua Centre

The club has always relied on volunteers and the support of parents and during the mid 1990’s the efforts of these helpers meant the Centre expanded from a motley collection of dinghies to a club offering high quality sailing opportunities for young people. The highlights included:

  • Fetching boats from Bangor University to start a fleet of Larks
  • Constructing buildings with the assistance from inmates of the local prison at Ford, and extending the facilities to include toilets and improved changing facilities.
  • Gaining charitable status/RYA Recognition, a milestone which now meant the Centre was able to award its own certificates within the RYA schemes and had attained the high standards with regard to instruction and safety required of the RYA.
  • Earning a reputation both locally and across West Sussex as a well organised safe organisation for youngsters from non-sailing and canoeing backgrounds to learn new skills in what has always been considered to be an elitist activity.

Funding Arun Youth Aqua Centre

The Jubilee Trust pump primed the original concept and enabled the farsighted founders to create their vision back in 1977.

Sport England Lottery Fund and Foundation for Sports and Arts have provided through two major awards of grants the ability of the Centre to purchase new fleets of dinghies for the first time during the late 90’s and early 2000’s. The Centre has also had significant help from the Local Network Fund and Awards for All.

Fund raising continues to be a critical activity and as well as the major funding from various sources above, the Centre has raised significant sums with our own efforts through organizing dances/evening events/quizzes/raffles and a host of small activities through the years.

Grants and donations on a regular basis especially from the local authorities have to date enabled the Centre to fund minor capital items such as sails, canoes and essential safety equipment.