Developing Your Junior Gliding Centre Activities

So what do you want to do?

We’ve organised information to support some aspects of your Junior Gliding Centre’s development into the sections on this page. We hope this will give you a head start in getting up and running. These are just some ideas; you may already have formulated your own plans in these areas.

As a starting point, your club may wish to formulate a Development Plan.

Additional development information is organised under the following headings:
Young pilot schemes
Working with the Air Cadet Organisation
Club / School Partnerships
Volunteer Development

For development support or for more information, please contact the BGA Development Officer, Alison Randle, to discuss your club’s needs.

Club Young Pilot Schemes

Whilst it is good to have young people fully integrated into the club, sometimes it also makes sense to have a more focussed group with corresponding support from instructors for a group of young pilots.

There are plenty of resources that you may wish to use – many are listed here and we would be surprised to find a club that chooses to use all of them! They are designed to be adapted for local use. Some have come from Sport England’s Clubmark Scheme and some have come from clubs. We hope they provide you with a decent start point. All are included for completeness, but if your club is already an accredited BGA Junior Gliding Centre, you will already be using some of these documents in one form or another.

What’s in a name? This is well worth considering carefully. Traditionally with close links to the Services, gliding has often referred to young pilots as ‘Cadets’. Nowadays however, this can conjure up images of a uniformed mini-service, which is not necessarily attractive to all – and in our increasingly pacifist society may actually deter whole groups of people.

Clearly discipline is important within gliding, and developing personal discipline is one of the most valuable things gliding has to offer any pilot, but modern gliding clubs are a far cry from being a Services environment.


Introductory letter for parents and carers
Advice for parents and carers
Recruitment of sports leaders
Head Junior Coach role description
Assistant Junior Coach role description
Volunteer agreement form
Code of conduct (Oct 2010)
Code of conduct for junior members
Code of conduct for parents and carers
Pre-session risk assessment for junior sessions
Non-flying incident or accident guidelines
Non-flying incident or accident report form
Junior session attendance register

Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme

The Duke of Edinburgh (DofE) awards scheme is a highly successful national programme of youth development through achievement of Bronze, Silver and Gold awards, each of which includes a range of sections and activities. Gliding is a recognised activity.

Gliding clubs that choose to offer gliding opportunities suitable for the Volunteering, Physical & Skills sections do not require an Approved Activity Provider (AAP) licence. If a club does have opportunities that they would like to market to DofE award participants, the DofE scheme body ask that the following statement is added to any club marketing to ensure that it is clear that the activity’s suitability is subject to the participant’s DofE Leader’s approval:

“This activity may count towards one of your Duke of Edinburgh’s Award sections. Please check with your DofE Leader for applicability”.

More information about the DofE awards is available here.

Working with the Air Cadet Organisation

Many clubs will be familiar with working with Air Cadets, but a number of clubs won’t be. Even clubs that already have Air Cadets flying at their site may not be sure of the best way to approach them to try and get them to stay and continue gliding. Every year, thousands of Air Cadets receive Gliding Scholarships which allow them to learn to glide and many go solo. However, when the scholarship finishes they often leave the sport and do not return. Although we are also encouraging clubs to approach civilian Juniors, if you are able to attract Air Cadets to your club you are reaching members who are already very familiar with the sport, are perhaps already solo and might just not be aware of what to do next.

We are currently working with the ACO to inform their regional offices about the JGC initiative and associated sponsorships that have been made available by GAPAN and The Air League Educational Trust. To ensure a structured approach and to reduce the time taken by each club to contact their respective ACO units please contact the BGA Junior Gliding Development Team to be put in touch with the correct contact for your area. Should you already have contacts within your local ACO please let us know so that we can work this into the equation for the mutual benefit of all and to prevent too much overlap of effort.

Specific Resources for Working with the ACO are:

Air Cadet Conversion Syllabus (.pdf)
Air cadet flying overview
Generic word document ‘General JGC offer to ACO unit’
Powerpoint presentation ‘JGC presentation for RGLO’ (for the local unit leaders)
Post-GS leaflet (.pdf)
Generic word document ‘welcome letter’

Club / School Partnerships

Opportunities may arise as you develop links with local schools. For more formal arrangements, it is often necessary to enter into a partnership agreement with the school. These general agreements devote much of their wording to setting out how clubs more ‘portable’ than a gliding club visiting a school will conduct themselves. It may make sense for an instructor to visit schools to do some ground school work, so don’t dismiss the possibility of visiting the school concerned.
You will need to negotiate an arrangement that suits both parties and, if you work with more than one school, you may find that you have to set up different agreements with each school.

We have developed a draft agreement document (gliding generic) which has been designed to be adapted to suit local needs.

Insurance: many Local Authorities require £5m Public Liability Insurance. This is higher than that generally required by law and BGA regulations for gliders. Mitigating this mis-match can be achieved two ways:

– You probably have £5m cover on aggregate of more than one policy (Airfield operator & aircraft), so it is worth discussing if this will suffice. Many Local Authorities are content with this.

–  If not, you can arrange £5m PLI cover for the days concerned on the aircraft required; make it clear this additional cost will need to be paid regardless of whether flying takes place.

Volunteer Development

All British gliding clubs (bar one privately owned club) are run by volunteers. Although some clubs do employ people to fill key roles, the future vibrancy of gliding lies in the hands of volunteers. Studies show that 70% of volunteers are not happy – mainly because they haven’t been asked what they want to do to help! That’s a shame and a waste. In a sport where it takes at least three people to get one airborne, we’re quite good at pitching in to help out with flying, but there are loads of other things that need to be done.

Give people an opportunity to get involved, ask them what they want to do (or simply what they can, given the pace of modern life!) and have fun working together. There are a number of organisations who support volunteering in the UK, all with websites. You may find some of their resources helpful.

Useful Weblinks

Volunteering England
Volunteer Scotland
Volunteering Wales
Volunteer Development Agency (Northern Ireland)
Wales Council for Voluntary Action (This excellent website has all sorts of useful information and resources. In addition to volunteering, there’s plenty about managing volunteer run organisations too.)