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Community Work

Celebrating 120 years in 2009, the Minima Yacht Club provides quality sailing and social membership to residents across the Surrey area – and beyond. Having launched a canoeing division in 2008, Minima is a focal point for sailing and canoeing within the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames.

With 130+ members and a full sailing/canoeing programme on Wednesday evenings, Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays, Minima Yacht Club is a busy and vibrant part of Kingston’s history – and is working closely with the Thames Landscape Strategy Group and RBK Council and its Planning Department on encouraging greater use of, and involvement with, the River Thames. The Club is active with key local groups including Kingston Town Centre Management, The Best of Kingston, the River Users Group and the River Thames Society.

As part of our birthday celebrations, we are working closely with the Friends of Kingston Museum and Heritage Service to ensure river activities are noted and celebrated as part of our local heritage. Minima also hosts talks of mutual benefit to other local sailing clubs and groups – and works at establishing and maintaining good relationships with Turks and Parrs.

The Club has been very active in charitable works, including the Kingston CAN appeal and stages two events each year in aid of the RNLI. Our Vice Commodore Mrs Vera Corner- Halligan has been awarded the MBE for her services to youth. Each summer the Club supports the Kingston Rowing Regatta and Festival Week with displays featuring dinghy sailing and canoeing. The Club hosts the Mayor at its May Merrie and September Regatta and provides Social Sails as raffle prizes for each Mayor’s charity.

MYC has achieved very high standards of competition which in 2007 included victory in the Three Burgees team-racing trophy, over Thames Sailing Club and absentee holders Tamesis. This gave Minima Yacht Club the Grand Slam of lower Thames team racing for 2007, Minima having previously won the Firkin Trophy against Twickenham and the Warwick Smith versus Ranelagh. 2008 also proved an excellent competitive season but did not exceed 2007.

2008 saw the establishing of a trial canoeing division to encourage existing and potential new members to expand into canoeing and kayaking. The experiment has been successful with some new memberships and families able to enjoy a combination of water sports using the Club’s facilities.

MYC is strengthening its Junior Section – supporting the Kingston Sport initiative and the national Change4Life projects. The Club fleet of small dinghies and canoes suitable for youngsters has been increased as part of a “sport is healthy” promotional drive. We already have junior members who have received the Duke of Edinburgh Award.

Qualified trainers are already members of the Club, and will assist with further promotional and training programmes to encourage family membership. Close co-operation exists with Albany Park and Wimbledon Council to offer training programmes – both at their facilities and at the Club.

Health and Fitness
MYC is also taking part in the Kingston Age Concern initiative to target exercise by the over 45’s. A good proportion of the MYC members are of retirement age+ and some are still actively sailing each week well into their 80’s. We intend to use this as an example that those in early/middle age can also have a go and get fit.

Family and Social Support
MYC believes in, and offers, family membership – providing both a sporting and social environment for all the family. Youngsters, while encouraged into formal yachting training, can also buddy with highly experienced sailors and learn confidence and skills.

Disability Support
MYC has a number of physically challenged members who are able to enjoy an involvement with all aspects of the club and know that others are available to give them support and cheer at numerous social events. Discussions have been held with RYA Sailability to establish guidelines on improving our facilities for both the sailing and spectator disabled. We have recently applied to Awards for All seeking funding for a scissor lift. This is part of our 120 year objective of making our club more usable by the disabled and accessible to young families. We are aiming at various alterations to ensure we can get both wheelchairs and baby buggies/prams to the first floor social area.

Active Volunteering
MYC has a group of Members who, having retired from work, happily meet up on Wednesdays at the Club to undertake DIY repairs to both the Clubhouse and the boats – enjoying companionship, practicing their skills and keeping repair costs to a minimum. In fact, the Clubhouse was virtually derelict when first taken on and considerable effort and funds have been expended to bring it to a high standard, including a new roof.

The Environment
MYC has a low carbon footprint – our sport uses wind, tide and personal skills. A good proportion of our members travel to and from the club by bicycle