Back by popular demand - The Green Blue launches University Sailing Sustainability Challenge 2016-17

Back by popular demand – The Green Blue launches University Sailing Sustainability Challenge 2016-17

Back by popular demand – The Green Blue launches University Sailing Sustainability Challenge 2016-17

Will you take the challenge?

The Green Blue has teamed up with British University Sailing Association (BUSA) to invite university sailing clubs from across the UK to enter the University Sailing Sustainability Challenge 2016-17.

Following the success of the 2015-16 challenge, which saw 10 University Sailing Clubs taking action to make their sailing more environmentally sustainable, The Green Blue, the joint environment programme of the RYA and British Marine, will once again run the challenge for the next academic year.

Supported by BUSA, the challenge involves University Sailing Clubs competing to undertake as many sustainable actions as they can throughout the academic year. By undertaking these positive actions they will have the opportunity to demonstrate to the rest of the boating community how achievable and rewarding sustainable boating can be.

Each club needs to appoint a Sustainability Officer who will act as The Green Blue’s main point of contact and the key driver to lead their club to success. In the last challenge students undertaking geography, science and marine related degrees were keen to take up the position to build on their skills and knowledge and add their involvement with a UK Sustainable Boating Programme to their CV.

Sustainable actions include: ensuring sailing venues have a Spill Kit available to clean up any accidental spills when boaters are handling oil and fuel, ensuring members use re-usable sports bottles during training sessions and events to reduce waste and single use plastic bottles, and making sure boats, trailers and equipment follow the Check Clean Dry approach to minimise the risk of spreading invasive non-native species around UK waters.

Sustainability Officer for York University Sailing and Windsurfing Club (YUSWC), Blair Davies said: “The sustainability challenge has been great in stimulating new attitudes as to how our club operates. As an environmental science student, it has given me the chance to apply my knowledge to lessen the environmental impacts of YUSWC.

“For the club it’s been pivotal in establishing sustainable attitudes of all members, gaining recognition from the university’s sports union and BUSA. There’s always room to improve operations to become more sustainable, and The Green Blue initiative gives impetus to UK sailing clubs to be greener. It’s very gratifying and something every club should get on board with.”

Award Levels

Participating clubs have to complete and evidence as many of the fourteen sustainable actions as they can to achieve either a Bronze, Silver or Gold Award level – before 20th February 2017. All USCs that reach an award level will be awarded a certificate for their efforts and achievement.

The top three universities that evidence the most sustainable actions after completing at least eight out the fourteen will be awarded a prize. If there is a tie between the top-performing clubs, a prize draw will determine who shifts into first, second and third place.

  • First:            £500 prize
  • Second:       £250 prize
  • Third:          £100 prize

The winners and runners-up will be invited to attend the 2017 RYA Suzuki Dinghy Show at Alexandra Palace in early March 2017 to receive their prizes and certificates on the main stage.

If you know or are part of a university sailing club that is interested in getting involved or want to find out more about the challenge, contact Kate Fortnam, The Green Blue’s Environmental Outreach Officer, at [email protected] or call 023 8060 4227.

You can cheer on next year’s University Sailing Clubs through the sustainability challenge by following @thegreenblue on Twitter.


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