Hi everyone

Seeing so many of your club Facebook updates, it look like you’ve all been taking advantage of some of the good weather we’ve had recently to get afloat!

Exactly one month today Push The Boat Out will almost be over for another year. We’ve been so pleased with how many of you have signed up to run events – 50 Midlands clubs and centres running activity a total of 79 days of ‘have-a-go’ activities. Nationally more than 370 clubs and centres have signed up.

For those of you running events, are you geared up to make the most of them? Have you done a countdown clock as to what needs by done by when for this final month?

Your event pack, amongst heaps of other useful resources, has an activity timeline to help you produce a ‘tick list’ to make sure you’re not caught out with anything on the day.

All these resources, including the Essential Guide and Promoting Your Event booklet, can also be downloaded from the Club Zone section of the RYA website. There are two more live ‘Promoting your PTBO event using social media’ webinars coming up you can take advantage of on the following days too...

  • Tuesday 25 April – 12.30pm
  • Thursday 27 April – 7.30pm 
Don’t forget these articles we have produced too that could give you some tips…

Seven top tips on retaining sailors from Open Days
Putting visitor experience at the heart of your Open Day
Top 10 tips on using Facebook to attract new members
Do People Know About Your Push The Boat Out?
Push The Boat Out - The Final Countdown

Which leads nicely to the RYA Midlands Event Pack…

The RYA Midlands Event Pack has a new addition – a dinghy simulator!

If you’re heading into your local town centre or have a stand booked at a county show, for example, to support your Push The Boat Out event or any forthcoming Try Sailing days and other ‘get involved’ activities this summer, you can borrow the RYA Midlands Event Pack to help you get people’s attention. And now, as well as the Go Sailing gazebo and flags and a Fusion SailBoat, the pack also includes a new stable simulator so you can give people a taste of sailing on dry land. Don’t forget it comes packed into its own trailer too.

It's unofficial 'home' is Aztec Adventure, Upton Warren, but we hope it will be booked for the whole summer and moved between clubs between events. Priority booking is given to clubs promoting future activities so to check availability have a look on the calendar and to make a booking email ryamidlandsfleets@gmail.com

The Regional Volunteer Team views the Event Pack as continuing to play a key role in raising awareness of the sailing opportunities in the Midlands, and in addition to clubs borrowing it, RYA Midlands will also be attending a number of show and events. As a result the RVT is looking for a key volunteer(s) to head up and organise this activity, and for other volunteers to help man the stand at events like the Royal Three Counties Show, for example. Could you help? If so contact David Dale at daviddale286@btinternet.com

Access arrives!

The new Access dinghy, purchased by the RYA Midlands Volunteer Team to support the work of our regional Disability Development Officer, Brett Cokayne has arrived and is in action! The boat is being kept at Staunton Harold SC but is available to be booked and used as part of the Regional Hire Fleet across the whole Midlands.

We will be looking more in-depth at the difference this boat can make with Brett in next month’s RYA in The Midlands newsletter. But in the meantime if you are interested in knowing more drop Brett a line to ddo.midlands@rya.org.uk

Sport England update

You’ve probably seen a lot about funding for sport, and in particular for the new Sport England funding cycle for 2017-2021.

Sailing obviously benefits from this allocation and I am currently working on our four-year plan for the Midlands with our whole regional team, including the Regional Volunteer Team, Chris Blackburn (High Performance Manager), Brett Cokayne (Disability Development Officer) and our sailing development officers.

An update on this will be coming in due course so watch this space. Read what the RYA had to say about the funding announcement when it was made in February - RYA response to Sport England announcement

Welcome Michelle

We welcome Michelle Gent to the Midlands as she covers for Chris Blackburn, our High Performance Manager, who is on shared paternity leave until July. Many of you may already know Michelle through her work with IOCA, the UK Optimist class association, or her role as RYA’s High Performance Club and Paralympic Officer.

Congratulations Ian!

Anyone who attended Burton SC’s An Evening with Ian Walker in February couldn’t fail to have been inspired and impressed by his achievements, knowledge and passion. So it was really pleasing to see him named at the new RYA Director of Racing last week, taking over from the retiring John Derbyshire in the autumn.

Ian has close links with the Midlands through his Olympic medal winning partnership with Rutland’s John Merricks, and as a Trustee of the John Merricks Sailing Trust set up in memory of his 470 crewmate. We wish Ian all the best in his new role.

Couple of other bits you might have missed…

With it being the time of year it is there is an awful lot going on in the wider boating world. Here are a few more articles the RYA has produced over the past month that could well be of interest and relevance to you that you might have missed…

Young Brits look to UK's coastline, lakes and canals to enjoy physical pursuits on a regular basis
RYA Public Commitment Statement on Gender Diversity
Brexit, what happens next?
Welcome to the new look OnBoard!

Have a great month!