Less than one month to go to the Women’s World Gliding Championship 2022!

 In Member Articles, News

The BWPA is pleased to announce that we will be partners with this year’s Women’s World Gliding Championship, which is to be held in the UK.

“I am so pleased that we have partnered with the WWGC for 2022. Flying a glider is a unique and exhilarating experience, and we hope that this partnership will help highlight the joys of gliding, as well as its accessibility,” says Sharon Nicholson, BWPA Chairwoman.

This year the Women’s World Gliding Championship takes place in the UK at The Gliding Centre , Husbands Bosworth near Leicester. WWGC2022 is an international celebration of unpowered sport aviation by women pilots where, from 13–27 August, nearly 50 top pilots will race around courses of up to 500 km at speeds up to 130 kph – all with no engine.

Why just women? Most gliding competitions are open to all, but in an effort by the International Gliding Commission to combat the under-representation of women in gliding, the Women’s World Gliding Championship was born, with competitions so far in places such as Australia, Czechia and France. There are 12 international teams competing this year, including two Ukrainian pilots who have been loaned gliders by members at Husbands Bosworth. You will be able to meet all the teams at Market Harborough and Lutterworth at the opening ceremony parades on 13 August. The teams will face interesting challenges – the weather and terrain are very different from the mountains of France or the outback in Australia. The Danish team have already been to visit and had a wonderful week learning what it is like to fly in the UK.

BWPA members had a lot of fun at the last WWGC in Australia!

To watch a glider launch or to see it land is a breathtaking experience. To know that, between the launch and landing, a skilful pilot can fly their glider upwards of 500 km is eye-opening. All that skill is translated into freedom. The team behind WWGC2022 are aiming to help as many people as possible to share the experiences and joy that gliding offers. Gliding does not require huge physical strength, but it does involve teamwork, building good communication skills and, in recent years, a good grasp of technology. For young women or men wishing to get involved in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), it is an actualisation of their skills.

Everyone will be welcomed to the free entry Open Weekend on 20/21 August to see how a competition works. Alongside the launching and landing, visitors will be able to track the progress of the gliders on a big screen as they race round the day’s course. Youngsters – of all ages! – will have fun exploring the  wide range of STEM activities, from building all-electric aircraft to aviation exhibitions in the marquees, with some awesome female role models from across aviation and aerospace ready to inspire young people, especially girls, to help engineer a more sustainable future. The public are also invited to the Last Night Party on 26 August, with music, food stalls and the legendary Aerosparx pyrotechnic display team.

Gliding is an empowering sport – being at one with the environment, the freedom of silent flight is something unique which can be experienced by pilots of all ages. At The Gliding Centre and WWGC2022 they are committed to providing this experience to everyone, but particularly to the younger generation who we hope will inherit our love of the skies.

“I’m thrilled that we have an official partnership between WWGC2022 and BWPA. As sister organisations we are both passionate about passing on our love of the skies and achieving our shared aim of inspiring more women into aviation. I am excited to be working with the BWPA who will be joining us at the WWGC2022’s Open Weekend where we’re inviting the public to come and watch the glider racing, meet some brilliant female role models from aviation and engineering, and have fun with a wide range of aviation-related activities from a number of aerospace companies. WWGC2022 is just the start of our journey – we’re looking forward to exploring how we can develop the partnership beyond the Championship to help encourage and support women in aviation.” – Liz Sparrow, Director WWGC 2022.

For more information visit the WWGC website and @wwgc2022 on social media. The WWGC team look forward to welcoming you! The BWPA team will also be there, so make sure you pop by and say hello!


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