This time a year ago it was only those in the boating world who had heard
about the British Marine Federation’s (BMF) pioneering new initiative Splash
Camp.  Billed as the first ever reality TV show with children for children,
Splash Camp was an action-packed ten part series on ITV1, on at peak time,
funded by the BMF to encourage watersports participation and help bring
boating to the mainstream. Now, after the first series, millions of
youngsters all over the UK know about it and over half a million (570,000*)
are giving it a go.

The series was a great success and independent research shows that 20% of
all 8-16 year olds have heard about Splash Camp, which equates to 6.7 million
children across the UK.  In some areas of the UK, such as the West Midlands,
the figures are even higher with over a third (34%) of all youngsters
knowing about the programme.

Of these millions of children, 62% of them had tuned in to watch the
programme on Friday afternoons – the most popular time for children to watch
television outside of Saturday mornings.  In a testament to the BMF’s aims
and aspirations for the programme, 64% of viewers claim that Splash Camp has
inspired them to try a watersport.

As well as just thinking about giving watersports a go, 7% have already
taken the first step and actually got on the water directly as a result of
watching the programme.  The remaining 57% believe they will get out on the water
soon.  This means that an estimated 570,000 youngsters will, or have already
tried a watersport after having watched Splash Camp.  Interestingly this
figure is higher amongst the lower social grades which implies that Splash
Camp has brought water sports to a social group not traditionally associated
with boating and related sports.

James Gower, Marketing Director of the British Marine Federation added:
“We’ve all been amazed at the success of Splash Camp, these figures are
remarkable and speak for themselves.  Historically we’ve been concerned
about the younger generations not taking an active interest in watersports, and
this concern was reflected by our members.  The first series of Splash Camp
has gone some way to address this but there is still more to do. We hope
that a second series of the programme will further reinforce the fun, excitement
and exhilaration that watersports offers.”

As well as the weekly TV programme, Splash Camp had it’s own interactive
website.  In addition to gossip and additional insights in to life at the
Camp, the website had facts on each of the watersports from the programme,
advice on how to get started, and details of clubs around the country where
children can get involved.  There was also a dedicated section for parents
and links to associated bodies such as the RYA, BCU, British Waterski and
Sport England.

Reaction from the children featured in the programme has also been
outstanding with parents believing that their children have benefited
immensely from the programme.  Mrs Leeson, mother of Ryan commented: “The
changes we’ve seen in Ryan have been amazing, since the Splash Camp
experience Ryan’s confidence has gone through the roof and he’s much more
social and loves trying new things.  He loved all the watersports, and since
leaving the Camp has already been back on the water sailing. Our Neilson
holiday prize also gave the whole family the chance to try water sports and
we had a amazing time”

Strawberry Entertainment who were appointed by the BMF to represent them
overseas, have had serious interest from France, the US and China who are
looking to replicate the successful Splash Camp business model across their

The BMF is looking for major sponsors to be involved in the next UK series
of Splash Camp and for brand licensing representation.  If you are interested
please contact Hayley James at the BMF on


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