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News - Latest News
20 Feb 2015

Staunton Harold's Ellie is RYA youth champion again!

Eleanorcraiglaser Web

A promising young Staunton Harold SC sailor is celebrating after being revealed as the winner of the East Midlands’ RYA Youth Champion for the second year running!


Ellie Craig, 15, is one of 13 regional winners of the 2015 RYA Youth Champion Awards, which were created just last year to recognise the outstanding achievement and performances of young people across the range of activities that boating’s national governing body, the RYA, represents including sailing, windsurfing and powerboating.


Having won the inaugural regional RYA Youth Champion Award last year, Ellie, from Norton-Juxta-Twycross, capped another impressive year in 2014 landing no fewer than 35 trophies in total! She also achieved her aim of being selected for the RYA Laser Radial Transition Training squad as she progresses from Junior to Youth sailing.


In addition Ellie also starred for Leicestershire and Rutland Youth Sailing Association (LRYSA) at the National Schools Sailing Association (NSSA) National Youth Regatta in Deal, Kent last July, finishing 1st Topper out of 74 boats, 1st overall female from six fleets (single and double handed) and 1st Leicestershire performer (Haywood trophy).


The Topper is a one-person Junior class and Laser Radial a one-person Youth class, both supported by the RYA on the pathway to Olympic classes sailing.


Ellie said: "Winning the regional RYA Youth Champion Award the first time was surprising so to win it for a second time is pretty unbelievable! 


"The highlight of the past 12 months has to be getting into the RYA Laser Radial Transition Training squad because there were over 30 great applicants and only 12 got in. My sailing has progressed hugely over the past year but the biggest improvement has been in my Laser Radial, which I only started sailing full time after the Topper Nationals in August. I have learnt so much from everybody who has given me help and coaching."


Ellie was nominated by her club Staunton Harold SC in South Derbyshire and selected as a winner by the RYA East Midlands regional committee.


She added: "I cannot emphasise enough how much support I get from the club. Everyone is so keen to give me advice and encouragement, it has really helped me to stay motivated and I am extremely grateful.


"Sailing teaches you so much. It helps with everything from physical fitness to mental toughness and team work. For me doing so much sailing forces me to have good organisational skills as I need to be able to manage my time efficiently to balance school and sailing, both of which are extremely important to me. It is also great fun and I have made so many friends in the sport."


The RYA Youth Champion Awards will be presented at the RYA Suzuki Dinghy Show at Alexandra Palace, London on Sunday 1 March, although Ellie won’t be able to collect her award in person as she will be competing at Laser Spring Qualifier event at Torbay, Devon that weekend.


Sarah Treseder, RYA Chief Executive, said: “We’re delighted to announce the 2015 winners of RYA Regional Youth Champion Awards, which celebrate the talents of the many young sailors, windsurfers and powerboaters who are achieving amazing things across the UK.


Ellie has recently had some more good news as she and Staunton Harold club mate Chloe Felton have again been awarded grants from the Leicester-Shire & Rutland GO GOLD Talented Athlete Fund. The girls have received £300 each as GO GOLD aims to support talented young athletes who are performing at a regional level or above in their sport.


Among Chloe’s notable 2014 achievements she won the 2014 IOCA Optimist Midland Championships and was first girl (2nd overall) in the Optimist class at the RYA West Zone Championships last September.


The GO GOLD Talented Athlete Fund is managed by Leicester-Shire & Rutland Sport (LRS), the County Sports Partnership for Leicestershire, Leicester & Rutland, and is funded through Leicestershire County Council, Leicester City Council and Rutland County Council.


For more information on the RYA Regional Youth Champion Awards visit www.rya.org.uk/go/youthchampion