A SAILING club has been given a £10,000 grant to help get more people involved in the sport.

Tees and Hartlepool Yacht Club (THYC) clinched the grant from Sport England – as well as receiving the Royal Yachting Association’s (RYA) award for North-East club initiative of the year.

The grant will build a new pontoon that will improve disabled access to the club’s boats.

The awards were presented to the yacht club’s president Tommy Richardson and Commodore Barry Hughes by the ceremonial Mayor of Hartlepool, Councillor Stephen Akers-Belcher.

Mr Hughes thanked Sport England, Hartlepool Council’s sport and activity team and the RYA and said: “At the club, we are committed to our goal of bringing sailing and boating opportunities to a wider audience.

"This goal was made easier by the generous support of Hartlepool Borough Council whose grants and bursaries allowed our plans to take shape.

“Indeed, it was the club’s work with the council that brought the club to the attention of the RYA North East committee and led ultimately to the club Initiative of the Year award."

Steve Gibbon, Chairman of the RYA North East Region, said: “We had several strong entries but the entry from Tees and Hartlepool Yacht Club was outstanding.

“Volunteering is recognised by the RYA as one of the pivotal aspects of our sport and provides a foundation upon which we can build a successful sailing nation.

“That starts with club like Tees and Hartlepool. Without the time and dedication of volunteers, success such as that achieved by the club would not be possible.”