Queen's Sailing Club Women on the Water

by Queens Sailing Club - Women on the Water in Belfast, United Kingdom

We did it
On 28th June 2023 we successfully raised £4,817 with 54 supporters in 249 days

To expand the offering of sailing to students and get more women back on the water, regularly enjoying and competing in the sport.

by Queens Sailing Club - Women on the Water in Belfast, United Kingdom

 New stretch target

With additional money we could expand our training programme by focussing on female sailors and encouraging them to gain qualifications in coaching and instructing. We would be able to improve our boats to a high standard, which would allow for higher levels of competition and a better standard of sailing for our female sailors.

Who are we?

QUBSC is a society at Queen’s University Belfast run by students. We sail at Ballyholme Yacht Club in Bangor and have a regular group that run and attend sessions every Wednesday afternoon and Saturday morning. Throughout the year, we compete at events against other universities in Ireland and the UK and host events at Ballyholme.

We have both experienced sailors and beginners join the club, so we run team racing practice sessions, followed by training, led by qualified instructors. This means that any student with any background in sailing can join our society.


Community impact

Our aim is that an increasing number of women join QUBSC and either learn to sail or improve their sailing ability, whilst gaining confidence and having a good time, which is especially important after the effects of the COVID-19 lockdown. Sailing is great as a physical activity and getting out on the water helps students with their mental health, as it is a chance to take a break from studying and to meet new people and make friends. We have created a community in Belfast that welcomes new students every year, and through our social events provides different activities for people to get involved in as well as sailing.

COVID-19 has had a large impact on student life and the sailing club has been negatively affected as we have been unable to run training and attend events. Since the lockdown, we have noted that there is a decrease in participation from people of differing backgrounds, especially female participation. Sailing can often be seen as an inaccessible sport, and we would like to change this perception by increasing inclusivity in our club. Our goal is to have a wide range of people attend our sessions and feel included in our sailing community, regardless of background or income.

One of our goals this year is to get involved in beach cleans and other projects to help improve the local community and environment. This is an issue close to our hearts, as we sail along the Northern Ireland coastline and would like to keep it in a good condition.


What we have changed in our club

Every month we will run a 'Women's Wednesday' session, encouraging women to get on the water. Women new to sailing will be encouraged to go out and will have high quality instructing from our female instructors. We feel it is important to have both female students and female instructors as we want to encourage women from all levels of sailing to get involved at QUBSC. We will supply kit, such as waterproofs and buoyancy aids to encourage new sailors who may not be able to afford to purchase these items to sail. Sailing instructing tools will also be purchased to assist with these sessions, such as whiteboards, whiteboard pens and theory books.

We are also helping our female instructors improve by giving them more opportunities to lead at our club, such as running sessions. By doing this, we hope to encourage some competent female sailors to get involved and build up some instructing experience, even if they have not taught sailing before. This experience means that they have the skills to go on to get official qualifications at a RYA Centre.

Our Women on the Water Regatta is a new competition this year. We will organise a 'Women on the Water' Regatta to encourage female sailors to get involved and gain racing experience in a supportive environment. We have found women at our club do not often have the confidence to take part in other competitions, so this will hopefully build their confidence and then encourage them to enter our other events and competitions.

This year we have also introduced a pledge to have at least 5 women attend every event to ensure that women at our club gain race experience throughout the sailing season.

How we’ll spend the money raised

'Women on the Water' Regatta - we would need money to rent a room to hold the events and hire equipment, such as safety boats. This would help build confidence for our female sailors as they would get a chance to socialise with other club members and have a chance to ask any questions they have about sailing, as we would have experienced sailors attending the session.

Boat repairs and maintenance - money would partly go towards improving the condition of our fleet of boats, which are in need of repair. Some of the hulls of our boats need work done and many small parts of the rigging need to be replaced to keep our boats in good condition for competition and training sessions. This will ensure we have a level playing field with other university teams, as boats in disrepair would harm our chances in competitions and may turn new female members away from joining our club.

Event entry - contributions will be made towards female sailors' entry to events, such as entry ticket prices, to ensure we have a good number of women competing on behalf of Queens University Belfast as the cost of attending these events can be high, meaning some female sailors cannot not afford to attend. Since the restart of sailing events after the COVID-19 pandemic, we have struggled to fill spaces at these events due to the costs and lack of sailing experience people have due to the lack of training during lockdown. 


How you can play your part

There are four simple ways to help us reach our target and make this project a reality.

1. Make a pledge. Don’t delay if you’re going to support us because momentum is key to our success!

2. Spread the word. Share our project on your social media pages and tell the world to get behind us! The more people we reach, the more support we will get.

3. Offer rewards. Get involved if you are a local business by donating things we can offer to our supporters. We will give you a shout out!

4. If you want to run your own fundraiser to support us, maybe a sponsored activity or similar, use the 'contact project' button at the top of our page to let us know. Setting up your own page only takes a few minutes and you won’t need any bank details. Just a fun idea!


This project offers rewards in return for your donation. Please select a reward below.

£70 or more

Full Club Membership

Access to club membership, including all training sessions both theory and practical, access to our kit and social membership included

£1 or more

QUB Boonie Raffle

Pub quiz Boonie raffle

£5 or more

3 of 50 claimed

Ticket access to Women at the Helm event

Ticket for Women at the Helm Event

£10 or more

Social Membership

Access to a social membership, including access to events such as Mystery Bus Tour, Summer Sail Week and discounts to all ongoing or future events.

£100 or more

Bronze Sponsorship

Includes social media posts, advertisements on our boats and equipment and mention of affiliation. Open to suggestions.

£250 or more

Silver Sponsorship

Includes social media posts, advertisements on our boats and equipment, small logo on agreed kit and mention of affiliation. Open to suggestions.

£500 or more

Gold Sponsorship

Includes social media posts, advertisements on our boats and equipment, large logo on agreed kit, flag with your logo taken to events and taken with photos and mention of affiliation. Open to suggestions.

£1,000 or more

Platinum Sponsorship

Includes social media posts, advertisements on our boats and equipment, large logo on agreed kit, flag with your logo taken to events and posted with our team, social events held regularly at your venue and mentioned in bio of Facebook and Instagram pages. Open to suggestions.

£5 or more

3 of 3 claimed

Christmas Regatta Ticket

Christmas Regatta Ticket - 3/12/2022 Full day of racing included - Christmas Dinner Tickets booked seperately

£5 or more

4 of 4 claimed

£10 Sweet Beans Cafe Voucher

Pledge £5 and get £10 credit to spend on anything in Sweet Beans Cafe!

£5 or more

2 of 2 claimed

£10 Boojum Voucher

Pay £5 for £10 of credit at Boojum!

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