Come and join us at

Leicestershire and Rutland Youth Sailing Association

For more information contact

Jill: jill@lrysa.org.uk or call 01455 619347

Sailing for Kids aged 8 to 18

Saturday Morning Kids Club for Beginners

Weekly - 9.30am to 12.30pm - £15 / week

Saturday Youth Advance / Race Training

Weekly - 9.30am to 12.30pm - £15 /week

August Holiday 1 week Courses

    - Beginners / Stage 1&2

    - Advanced / Stage 3&4

2024 Dates

5th - 9th August 2024

19th - 23rd August 2024 

£190 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 - 1.30 pm to 5.00pm - £290 / course

Next Course Starts 13th April 2024

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 £290 / Course

Date TBC

RYA Safetyboat Course 

2 Days - 9am to 4pm £290 / Course

Date TBC

Official Opening of our new Facilities!

Lord-Lieutenant Michael Kapur OBE, the official representative of His Majesty The King for the county and city of Leicester, cut a red ribbon to mark the occasion of our official opening, alongside Mayor of Charnwood, Cllr Jennifer Tillotson, and LRYSA President Keith Lynch.

LRYSA President Keith Lynch praised the tremendous effort of the volunteers who had made the project possible. He said: “This has been a long journey for us to achieve the opening of this building and boat yard and I’d like to thank all of the people who’ve been involved.”

The LRYSA previously operated from a muddy compound with a collection of sheds and a Portaloo, with no electricity or running water. We are now able to run our activities from a gravelled boatyard with a modern clubhouse, which includes a large classroom, changing rooms and showers, disabled access, and a smaller training room with a kitchen area for catering.

Read the full article on the RYA website here

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)

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. 



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



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.