Sarah Ayton: Sharing Sporting Passions

15th August 2017

For many mums across the county, the summer holidays can mean finding endless activities to entertain the children. Goodwood Health Club’s ambassador Sarah Ayton and double Olympic gold medallist says this doesn’t have to be a chore. Her top tip? Share your sporting passions. 


Writing in her weekly column for Sussex Life Magazine, Sarah shared with us how she finds ways to fill her summer holidays:

"The more time I spend at Goodwood, the more I appreciate how wonderful it is that the sitting family, the Dukes of Richmond, have shared their sporting passions with the world. Each of the 10 Dukes have introduced a new sport to the Estate, from hunting to horse-racing, cricket, shooting, golf and more recently motorsport.

Sharing what you love with your offspring is really important. It is largely down to the support from my parents that I achieved so much in the world of sailing and I like to think I am doing the same for my family.

My parents are not sailors. I only got into it as a child because they were keen that my brother and I had a hobby. We tried all sorts of different activities, but sailing was the only one I really fell for. I guess I just loved the sense of freedom and adventure and escapism that comes with being out on the water, in your own little boat.

We joined the local sailing club on the Queen Mary Reservoir near Heathrow and started spending every weekend there. We made friends and it became a real social hub for the whole family.

Now that I have my own kids, I’ve realised how important it is to be there for them, to help them discover their own passions. I would obviously love them to pursue sailing but I am trying not to push them too much. It’s all about having fun with them on the water and recreating that sense of adventure. It might only last 20 minutes before they get bored, but that is better than nothing.

Thomas, aged eight, has already started racing and Oscar, five, has also taken to it. Sailing is a brilliant sport for kids. It teaches them so much: understanding the rules, learning how to rig a boat, being competitive and developing inter-personal skills. But to be honest, any sport is good for children. As long as you’re genuinely passionate about it as a parent, your kids will thrive. Enjoy the holidays!"

Sarah Ayton OBE is a Double Olympic Sailing Gold Medallist and Rolex World sailor of the year 2016. A motivational speaker with over a decade of experience, she has inspired many corporate teams to be more successful. She is also ambassador of the Goodwood Health Club.

The Goodwood Health Club is the perfect place to share your sporting passions with your children, whether that is tennis, golf, swimming or running. For more information about the school holiday activities on offer please call 01243 520114.

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