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27-28th APRIL 2024

Of almost 30,000 pilots in the UK, fewer than 5% are women. As a career industry and a sport, aviation has been slow to change, but gliding clubs are determined to change that and help more women take wing.


On 27-28th April 2024, 22 clubs across the country, from Scotland to the West Country, will be running ‘Women’s Go Gliding’ weekends. The British Gliding Association (BGA), the U.K’s  National Gliding body, is supporting clubs’ efforts to recruit more women members and make the sport more representative of the population at large.


At Edgehill Gliding Centre, we will be enthusiastically playing our part. The aim is to introduce women to the experience of soaring flight and aviation. Women will be able to come to the club to learn about gliding and there will be the opportunity to try it out by booking a flight in advance on their website.


Gliding is a unique form of flying that uses air heated by the sun to stay aloft. Pilots can fly long distances using only currents of rising air. The UK distance record is 1,108km.  Gliding creates almost no noise or pollution and is a thrilling test of a pilot’s skill and knowledge. The sport is much more affordable than power flying, and lessons are provided by qualified club instructors.


Women of every age are encouraged to learn and take part. Youngsters can learn to fly from the age of 12 and can qualify as a solo pilot at 14. For most people, it is an exciting hobby, and gliding can also open up a career in aviation.


Edgehill Gliding Centre already has many female members, ranging from teenagers to those in later life. It is one of the few UK gliding clubs that has a female Chief Flying Instructor, Lucy Wootton:


“As Chief Flying Instructor at Edgehill Gliding Centre, I am very much looking forward to welcoming you to the club, where me and my team of dedicated and enthusiastic Instructors are ready to take you the first step into what could be a new and exciting hobby for you, or even the start of a career in aviation, at the Nationals Women’s Go Gliding Weekend. We have so much to offer in terms of opportunities to take your gliding ‘career’ in whatever direction you choose, supported by a wonderful group of like-minded friends.”


“I have been asked why are women not participating in gliding? I could write a book on this,” says Yvonne Elliott, the BGA’s women’s advocate. “But I will just comment there are numerous barriers, some of which we can change. We need to ensure all are met with a warm welcome and facilities that are great for everyone. All the clubs participating are planning to ensure a fantastic experience for everyone who gets involved.”


EGC’s own Women’s Ambassador, Jane Nash, who is organizing the weekend said “Being a member of Edgehill Gliding Club is so rewarding because it is such a welcoming community where experiences and knowledge are shared.  You can take gliding as far as you wish.  You can be a social member, learn to fly solo, fly cross-country, become an instructor, fly in competitions and in my case, I am a member of the Women’s British Gliding Team and have flown in World Championships.  Gliding has so much to offer with fabulous camaraderie; do come along - I am really looking forward to meeting you”.


Edgehill Gliding Centre is offering flights at reduced rates over the weekend of 27-28 April with prices starting from £50. These can be booked HERE.

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