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Submit your nominations for the 2016 RYA Volunteer Awards 

Group Photo Make sure you nominate a deserving volunteer for the 2016 RYA Volunteer Awards

The RYA are once again inviting sailors to nominate volunteers who have made a difference to boating.

You can nominate here. Deadline for nominations is the 4th April 2016.

The RYA Awards recognise commitment to boating and the RYA at regional or national level, the RYA Community Awards consists of Lifetime Commitment, Outstanding Contribution and Youth Awards and is awarded for contribution to grassroots sailing at club level. The Francis Elkin Award rewards someone who has enabled people with disabilities to get on the water. The RYA Family Award is presented to a family group deserving of recognition for the impact they have made both as individuals and collectively.

In November, the Smith and Jones family from Bala Sailing Club in Noth Wales were honoured with the RYA Family Award at the annual awards presentation.

The RYA Family Award, was introduced in 2012 and is awarded to a family group deserving of recognition for the impact they have made both as individuals and collectively to a sailing club or organisation.

Their contribution encourages people to sail at club, national or international level, and benefits our sport. Philip and Carole Smith, along with their son Christopher, his wife Laurel, their daughter Helen and her husband Mark were recognised for their commitment, dedication and efforts to support Bala Sailing Club over the past twenty years.

For Phil, sailing has become a vital part of his life since his first taster session on the River Mersey at the age of 12, having gone on to sail regularly at Fiddler’s Ferry Sailing Club, Leigh and Lowton Sailing Club and eventually Bala Sailing Club, where he has been for over 30 years. More importantly, sailing has become interwoven into everyday life for his entire family since meeting his wife more than three decades ago.

Philip said: ‘I started at a taster sailing with a guy with a Cornish Coble. I had the biggest blisters and it was thoroughly enjoyable. After that, someone took me sailing in a Merlin rocket, and then I progressed into GP14s. “I’ve been at Bala Sailing Club for over 30 years ago, after moving from Wigan to Wrexham. “I met my wife who was working at a Chandler’s in Wigan. We met through sailing, and as we were like minds, things just progressed from there.”

For more information about the RYA Volunteer Awards, visit the dedicated site.

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