An equal, diverse, and inclusive RYA

In sailing and boating we all have the responsibility to encourage, support, and educate each other to be more accepting and inclusive of diverse groups.  

At the RYA, we want all our members, volunteers, employees, and stakeholders to feel safe and supported to be  themselves. We take a zero-tolerance approach to bullying, harassment, victimisation, and discrimination. 

To support this, the RYA is providing new training and development opportunities, as well as new inclusion and safeguarding guidance. Providing those in our community with policies, procedures, and inclusive events.

people having fun sailing examples
people having fun sailing examples
people having fun sailing examples
people having fun sailing examples

Legal requirements

The Equality Act 2010 legally safeguards people with or associated with protected characteristics from discrimination, victimisation, and harassment.

Protected characteristics in employment include age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, religion, race, sex, sexual orientation.

Discover more information about your legal responsibility in Cymru Wales, England and Scotland  or Northern Ireland.  

An RYA Affiliated organisation may wish to make a referral for support to overcome a situation involving Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion. In this case, we are able to provide guidance on best practice. 

How can the RYA help?

We can support you to understand your rights within an RYA affiliated organisation under the Equality Act 2010. You can also report poor practices or behaviours that exclude or discriminate, in a secure and confidential way.  

You can do this through making a referral.

We can help RYA affiliated organisations understand their duty under the Equality Act 2010. We can also guide affiliates to resolve barriers in participation, creating a culture of meaningful inclusion.  

You can do this through making a referral.

A person may feel they have experienced discrimination, harassment, or victimisation because of the way they have been treated. This may be due to a protected characteristic that they have, are perceived to have, or are associated with. 

A person may also experience discrimination indirectly through processes, procedures, rules, and environmental barriers, preventing them from getting involved in sport and recreational activity.  

If you feel you have experienced or witnessed discrimination, harassment, or victimisation, you can report it directly to the RYA Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion Team.  

Sailing, powerboating, and watersports have the power to bring people together on water.

Our goal is to encourage and support a culture on the water of true inclusion and belonging. Together we will facilitate new opportunities for growth, creating a more vibrant and sustainable future for sport and recreation. 

The RYA community already has a broad range of members who participate in activities together, regardless of their individual characteristics. However, for many clubs, there are still members that are under-represented and experience barriers to getting afloat. 

  • Ensuring that everyone who participates has a good time. 
  • An RYA community that is representative of the local community. 
  • An inclusive and informed RYA that does not negatively impact anyone. 
  • Calling out inappropriate behaviour and attitudes towards diversity.
  • Supporting others to know why that behaviour is wrong. 
  • Addressing your individual responsibility to your local community. 


We’re delighted to introduce ‘Together on Water’, our vision for the future of sailing and boating as a connected, inspired and inclusive community