RYA Club of the Year 2017 applications are now closed, and will re-open in the summer, for the 2018 award.
Rio 2016 Gold Medallists Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark re-launch the RYA Club of the Year Award at the Southampton Boat Show.
Introduced in 2007, this prestigious annual award has recognised and promoted the outstanding achievements of clubs across the UK and now, nearly ten years on, it’s been reviewed and updated to reflect the changing environment in which clubs are now operating.
“We’re really excited about the changes we’ve made to RYA Club of the Year Award” said RYA Club Support Advisor Jackie Bennetts. “In recent years we’ve learnt more about why people take up the sport, how they participate and what they like about their clubs.
“We believe the Award will now better recognise the individual projects and activities run by clubs that attract people to take to the water and to enjoy sailing regularly”.
RYA Club of the Year Award will now be presented in five brand new categories:
• Innovation- recognising a club initiative that makes a break from traditional ways of running a club or traditional ways of running boating activity;
• Inclusivity – aims to identify a club project which has been impactful in developing participation amongst people with disabilities or from other under-represented or disadvantaged groups;
• Facility Development – where a club has undertaken facility developments and has been creative and resourceful in the design, minimised environmental impact, shown innovation in securing funding and provision of club facilities;
• Increasing Participation – acknowledging a club that has delivered the most impactful participation project, the outcomes of which are, attracting and retaining new participants and growing their membership;
• Communications – a club that has embraced the use of modern communications, e.g. social media platforms or who have been proactive and forward thinking in their communications and marketing using websites and local media.
Saskia Clark said: “It’s fantastic to re-launch RYA Club of the Year Award. Both Hannah and I wouldn’t be where we are today had we not been members of our local clubs so it’s so important that we continue to recognise the achievements of the clubs which keep our sport alive”.
Applications for COTY 2017 closed on 31st October 2016.
The RYA Honours and Awards Panel will select five finalist clubs, one from each of the categories. The overall winner will be selected from these five and will be announced at the RYA Suzuki Dinghy Show in March.
Overall Winner of the RYA Club of the Year Award 2016 - Redesmere Sailing Club
RYA Club of the Year Finalists 2016:
In 2013, Redesmere Sailing Club faced a period of uncertainty over their future, but following extensive consultation with the membership, a 10 year strategic development plan was agreed. Since initiating the plan, the club has taken major steps to enhance on-the-water and social participation, member involvement in club operations, training provision, alongside improving club facilities and infrastructure, all with a view to further increasing club membership.
Refurbishing and extending the clubhouse, developing extended launching and berthing areas, improving the facilities for less able bodied sailors and making the site more family friendly, means that members of all ages and abilities feel there is something for them.
Tim Lowe, from Redesmere Sailing Club, said: “This award is testament to the hard work carried out by the whole club over the past few years. The focus of the club is now on the future, and we really hope to continue our fantastic recent progress.”
Regional Development Officer for the North West Adam McGovern said: “I’m really happy for the club. They’re a well organised club, they’re involved in a lot of different projects, they’re a really inclusive club and they do a lot for both juniors and adults.
“We’ve worked closely with them to help them establish their sailing programmes, and they’ve proved to be a very self-sufficient club. They now have great infrastructures in place and sustainable models that will ensure the club thrives for a long time.”
Find out more about Redesmere Sailing Club, the other 2016 finalists along with all the past winners and finalists.
Special thanks go to Arthur J. Gallagher who support the RYA Club of the Year Award and to Sailing Awards who donated the perpetual RYA Club of the Year trophy when the award was first introduced in 2008.