WORCESTERSHIRE residents are being urged not to miss the boat but to join the wave of enthusiasm for the water and sailing.

The Royal Yachting Association (RYA) is running a campaign throughout May called Push The Boat Out where local people can try sailing or windsurfing for free or at reduced prices.

Five centres across the county – Trimpley Sailing Club, near Kidderminster; Barnt Green Sailing Club; Aztec Adventure centre, Upton Warren, near Wychbold; Arden Sailing Club at Defford, near Pershore; and Severn Sailing Club, at Bredon’s Norton – are taking part in the scheme.

The RYA says it has commissioned research that shows 25 per cent of those questioned had never tried an outdoor pursuit – despite half who took part in the survey wanting to be more active.

As a result of this, it is encouraging people to try something new and take advantage of this great opportunity in May.

Anyone who is looking for something different, is bored with the gym and wants some outdoor health and fitness activity, is a bit of an adrenaline junkie, needs something to help them switch off their brain or simply wants a sociable new activity which can be enjoyed with friends and family, can give sailing or windsurfing a try.

Gareth Brookes, RYA Regional Development Officer for the Midlands, said: “So many people still don’t realise they can go sailing or windsurfing on their doorstep, and that you don’t even need to own a boat or board as clubs and centres have ones you can borrow or hire.

“Once you’ve learned the ropes, you can sail on your own or with your partner, friends or kids in dinghies or big boats, inland or on the coast. And after you’ve given your mind and body an on-the-water workout, nothing beats having a drink by the water on warm summer evenings.”

All kit and safety equipment is provided at Push The Boat Out events, so just bring a pair of old trainers you don’t mind getting wet and your sense of fun and adventure. Refreshments will be available with a host of shoreside activities and entertainment to enjoy too.

As part of their Getting Active Outdoors campaign (2015), Sport England found people enjoy outdoor pursuits for many reasons, including spending time with family, to have fun with friends, to enjoy the scenery and be closer to nature, to take advantage of the fresh air and weather and to relax and get away from modern life. Some 40% of people said they would prefer to do their exercise outdoors.

Almost 400 venues across the UK are inviting people to Push The Boat Out this May. Over 22,000 people regularly go along to their local sailing club every month across the Midlands, sailing small sailboats or windsurfing on the region’s reservoirs, lakes and rivers, while last year a whopping 32,000 people ‘pushed the boat out’ at over 500 sailing and windsurfing taster sessions throughout the UK. For full details visit www.rya.org.uk/ptbo