Sailing for Kids aged 8 to 18

Saturday Morning Kids Club for Beginners

Weekly - 9.00am to 12.30pm - £10 / week

Saturday Youth Advance / Race Training

Weekly - 9.00am to 12.30pm - £10 /week

August Holiday 1 week Courses

Monday 8th to Friday 12th August

    - Beginners / Stage 1&2

Monday 15th to Friday 19th August

    - Advanced / Stage 3&4

£180 for the whole week (5 days / 9am to 4pm) including all instruction & equipment.

Sailing for Adults 18+ 

6 Week RYA Level 1 & 2 Course

Saturdays x 6 - 1pm to 4pm - £250 / course

Next Course Starts September 2022

Sailing for Adults 55+ 

Relaxed RYA Level 1 & 2 Course

Tuesdays 9.30am to 1pm - £10 / week

Powerboat RYA Level 1 & 2 Course 

2 Days -  9am to 4pm

Date TBC

Safetyboat RYA Level 1 & 2 Course 

2 Days: TBC

Our Hero Instructor - Pete Magee!  

"Hero dives into Watermead Park lake after man falls in strapped into his mobility scooter"

Pete is one of our sailing instructors who volunteers his time to make sailing accessible to everyone. 


Pete says that he only got into the water as he knew the lake and was familiar with the embankment. His energy levels faded very quickly and he was soon suffering from cold water shock himself.

Fire & Rescue services advise not to go into the water to try and save someone but to call 999 immediately.  Shout to the person in case they are disorientated and also look for a lifebuoy or line to throw to them.  (Neither would have helped in this case so the man was lucky that Pete was experienced around water).


Quick-thinking Pete Magee saved the life of a man on Monday (11/07/2022) after he heard a “large splash”.  The man had plunged six feet down an embankment into a lake while still strapped into his mobility scooter in Watermead Country Park, Syston.

Pete dived into the waters of John Merricks Lake to help the man stay above water.  He beckoned a passing dog-walker to help raise the alarm, while a second bystander entered the lake to help him keep the scooter upright while emergency services could arrive.  The man, semi-conscious, was helped from the lake by fire crews with a winch and taken to the hospital via ambulance shortly after.

Read the full story here (Leicester Mercury)


Saturday 25th June AM

Home Regatta No. 3

Mayor's Trophy & Mathew Fulham

Saturday 25th June PM

John Buckingham Memorial Race

Open to anyone over 18 with RYA Level 2 Sailing

Saturday 24th September (TBC)

Home Regatta FINAL

Mayor's Trophy & Mathew Fulham

Under 18's - August ONE WEEK COURSE

Monday 8th to Friday 12th August

    - Beginners / Stage 1&2

Monday 15th to Friday 19th August

    - Advanced / Stage 3&4

£180 for the whole week (5 days / 9am to 4pm) including all instruction & equipment.

more info / booking

email august@lrysa.org.uk



Free Taster Sessions

More information / booking

email discover@lrysa.org.uk

Saturday 1st October 

Sailability (Disabled sailing)

The NSSA National Schools Regatta

24th to 30th July

Venue:  Grafham (Cambridgeshire)

Regatta website here

Children will camp but parents are advised to book accommodation early!!

2005 Norfolk Broads


The Committee and members of the LRYSA are saddened to hear of the passing of John Buckingham.  John was one of the founders of the LRYSA along with John Saunders and our current chair Colin Magee.  At the time sailing was just for the wealthy and privileged, John wanted to make sailing, canoeing, and other water sports accessible and affordable to the whole community with a focus primarily on the young. The Leicestershire Schools Sailing Association (as we were known then) was created in 1967 through his work with the Outdoor Pursuits Department at County Hall.  John and the other founders set to work begging and borrowing boats and equipment to set up a watersports centre at John Merrick's Lake in Watermead Country Park where it is still based today. Over the years, thousands of young people and adults have benefited from Johns inspiration. For many years John was senior coach and chairman of the LRYSA supporting and developing our activities throughout Leicestershire. 


John was also a dear friend with a wonderfully cheeky sense of humour and compassion for the less fortunate.  Our thoughts and sympathy go to his widow Helen and his family at this sad time.

Read more about John on the RYA website here

2018 Outstanding Contribution to Sailing Award

All courses include instruction from our highly trained RYA Instructors plus the boat & safety equipment (wetsuit, buoyancy aids, helmets) that you will need to enjoy your time on the water.

 Please feel free to email us for more details or if you'd like to register for one of our courses

Activities take place on John Merricks Lake located in North Watermead Park, Syston, Leicester.  

The LRYSA (The Leicestershire & Rutland Youth Sailing Association) is a registered Charity with the aim to make sailing accessible to the whole community regardless of their mental or physical abilities, age or background.  We have a strong reputation and many years' experience working with vulnerable young people and are the only RYA Sailability accredited Centre in Leicestershire.

All Instructors are trained to high RYA standards and we rely on local funding to be able to maintain these qualifications and also the level of boats and equipment we need to safely offer our services at a very low cost or often free to our most vulnerable groups. 


We are fundraising to build specialised facilities for our disabled students (showers, toilets etc) but all our students

will benefit!  


Please feel free to get in touch if you are interested or want some more information ....some of our Volunteer Roles available:

Sailing Instructors:  We can help if some of your qualifications are out of date

Power Boat Drivers:  To help us with Safety cover

On-Shore Volunteers: Especially if you have experience of working with vulnerable children (severely disabled, blind or autistic children)

Admin & Marketing Volunteers: creating marketing materials (such as flyers), social media, contacting local groups & businesses and helping us spread the Word!!

General Volunteers:  we can always find you something to do!!

Details of Courses & Dates + More Information about Sailing

Feel free to Contact Us with any questions


Feb-19:  Bruce Wake Charity - £10,000 (new facilities)

Jan-19:  Voluntary & Community Sector (VCS) - £2,100 (towards sessions for autistic children)

Dec-18:  L&R Community Foundation:  Private Donor - £1,500 (New container for site)

Sep-18:  Samworth Brothers - £5,670 (New equipment + volunteer expenses)

Jun-18:  L&R Community Foundation:  Private Donor - £2,000 (Bell Boat items)

Nov-17:  Voluntary & Community Sector (VCS) - £1,580 (towards sessions for autistic children)

Oct-17:  Leicestershire & Rutland Freemasons - £1,000 (new wet suits & helmets)

Jul-17:  Mayor's Charity Appeal Fund - £1,200  (New gates for JML Compound)

Jun-17:  Hinckley & Rugby Building Society - £50  (Dragon's Den Runner Up)

Dec-16/Aug-17:  LCC SHIRE Community Grant - £1,652 (enabling sailing activities for vulnerable people)

Jan-17:  Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation (ASSF) - £600  (Training Sessions for Achieve with Us)

Dec-16:  Voluntary & Community Sector (VCS) - £2,830  (Training new Instructors)

Sep-16:  John Merrick's Sailing Trust - £6,000  (Fencing for JML Compound)

May-16:  Sport England Small Grants - £4,746 (Purchase Xenon Boat, Trailer + Main Sail)


Nov-2018:  Hinckley and Bosworth Sport and Health Alliance SPORTS AWARDS 2018

WINNER!  Outstanding Contribution to Sport in Leicestershire: The LRYSA

WINNER!  Junior Volunteer of the Year:  Heather Smith

Nov-2017:  Hinckley and Bosworth Sport and Health Alliance SPORTS AWARDS 2017

WINNER!  Young Volunteer of the Year:  Dominic Skeat

Runner Up!  Junior Sportsperson of the Year:  Harry Whitelegg

Runner Up!  Club of the Year:  The LRYSA

Nov-2016:  Hinckley and Bosworth Sport and Health Alliance SPORTS AWARDS 2016

WINNER!  Young Disabled Sports Person:  Edward Green

WINNER!  Coach of the Year:  Colin Magee



All courses are run to Royal Yachting Association (RYA) standards and all Instructors hold RYA Qualifications.  The RYA undertakes an inspection of our activities each year. View RYA 2019 affiliated certificate here.