Sussex gliding club meets with MP to discuss coronavirus challenges

Arundel and South Downs MP Andrew Griffith visited Southdown Gliding Club in Parham on Friday to discuss challenges facing the club because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Andrew met with chairman Craig Lowrie along with other club members to discuss how the club was safely overcoming the challenges of Covid restrictions and building its relationship with the community.

Southdown Gliding Club was the first gliding club to resume training following the national lockdown and developed a ‘Covid-secure’ cockpit screen to allow two-seat gliding to restart.

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The club is the largest voluntary club in the UK with approximately 225 members and is one of the oldest gliding clubs in Britain, celebrating its 90th anniversary this year.

Southdown Gliding Club

The club offers the unique capability of cross-country flying all year round and in 2018, one member flew an 800km 10 hour cross-country flight.

The club also has a cadet scheme to attract younger members with reduced fees and currently has around 40 junior members. The club also sends younger members to compete in national championships.

Andrew said: “I commend the Southdown Gliding Club’s energy and commitment to the sport of gliding.

“Its Ccadet scheme provides a hugely important opportunity for young people in our community to get into gliding, ensuring the world of aviation is accessible to those from all backgrounds.

“It is great to have such a facility on our doorstep in West Sussex and I am confident the club will continue to grow in years to come.”