(Source – Queen’s University Belfast.)
By Fleur Howe…
Queen’s sailing society QUBSC is running a new initiative with the aim to get more female sailors on the water. Aiming to redefine what has previously been a male dominated sport. Queen’s sailing has had a female captain for the past three years as well as having women compete in the first team at every event.
One member of the team expressed how this initiative is important to her because it will ‘inspire more women to try something they may not have the confidence to do. Even having competed at high levels in other sports such as rowing, I lacked confidence to try something new and this initiative has encouraged me to have a go at sailing.’. Their goal is to raise money so they can continue to support women’s sailing as well as grow and expand their teams.
The first team was promoted to Gold Fleet (the highest possible category) after winning 7/8 races at a recent event, placing them in competition with universities such as Trinity College Dublin who have members that are competing for the Irish Olympic team. This recent success has highlighted the urgent need for funding. This funding will mainly go towards improving equipment including boats and kits as well as supporting students being able to afford the events. The society has attempted to keep its membership fees as low as they can, this has meant the club is severely underfunded.
Currently the society runs sessions every Wednesday and Saturday in Ballyholme Yacht Club in Bangor and regularly compete in events travelling to various clubs in Ireland and Scotland. The society is open to all experience levels, providing weekly training led by qualified instructors where they run team racing practices. They currently have over 40 members and are constantly growing. Going forward the society plans to expand, attending even more events and competitions. They also intend on expanding their social activities, currently they run two socials a week and are working towards running a beach-clean up initiative to support the environment.
If you are interested in joining, you can contact them at qubsailing.qub.ac.uk or find them on Instagram and Facebook under QUB sailing club. Equally if you are interested in supporting the team, linked below is their Crowdfunder with the target of raising £3,500, each contribution comes with benefits from socials tickets to raffle entries.