Covenham Sailing Club member gets RYA East Midlands Young Sailor of the Year Award

A young volunteer sailor from North Somercotes will pick up one of youth sailing’s most prestigious awards in the New Year - the RYA East Midlands Young Sailor of the Year Award 2012 - in recognition of her achievements over the past 12 months.

Covenham Sailing Club’s Sarah Gowler, 13, will join 12 other RYA regional award winners from across Britain for a VIP day out at the Tullett Prebon London International Boat Show on Saturday 12 January, where the inspirational youngsters will receive their trophies.

The RYA Regional Young Sailor of the Year awards recognise the outstanding impact young people make to British sailing, whether on the race course, showing real dedication to their clubs, overcoming adversity or through an exceptional achievement. The youngsters were nominated by sailing clubs and selected as winners by the regions’ RYA committees.

Birkbeck Secondary School pupil Sarah, has been recognised for her dedication and work as a volunteer assistant with her club’s disability sailing group, Covenham Sailability, as well her own commitment and achievements as a young sailor.

Covenham Sailability provides opportunities for disabled people to learn to sail and sail regularly as part of the national Sailability programme run by the RYA. Having been a member of Covenham SC since she was 11, she has rarely missed a Sailability session at the club during this time. She assists with anything that needs doing from rigging the Access dinghies to accompanying those sailors with physical impairments on the water.

As well as being an excellent role model both as a helper and as a youth sailor, always demonstrating a positive attitude and bringing a smile to the face of everyone she meets, she also became one of the first Covenham SC junior sailors for some years to enter the RYA Volvo Zone Championships in September, competing in the two-person Mirror dinghy.

Sarah admits she had to pinch herself when she found out she was now the RYA East Midlands Young Sailor of the Year.

Sarah said: “When I found out I was jumping around with excitement. I’ve not only been picked for the RYA North Zone Youth Development Squad this year but won the RYA East Midlands Young Sailor of The Year Award, I just couldn’t believe it! I really enjoy my voluntary work at Covenham Sailability; it gives me a great feeling to be able to help others enjoy sailing just as much as I do. I would like to thank Covenham SC for the support they have given me.”

RYA Chief Executive Sarah Treseder said: “Winning an RYA Regional Young Sailor of the Year Award is a huge achievement and this year we are delighted to see such a broad selection of winners. All regional winners are a fantastic representation of youth in our sport.”

For more information about sailing in the East Midlands visit