Ben's Buzz - January 2020


Happy New Year everyone!

Hope you all had a great Christmas and managed to enjoy some time on the water, if not at the club.

I'm kicking off 2020 with good news. The details for the new RYA Midland Winter Forums are confirmed. The idea of the forums is to take on some of the key themes that emerged from the Regional Affiliated Clubs' Conference in more detail. 

There are four forums across the region with the same three workshops being run at each. This is so everyone the chance of getting along to the session(s) most relevant to their club. The forums will take place at:

  • Bartley SC - Thursday 13 February
  • Rudyard Lake SC - Thursday 20 February
  • Notts County SC - Thursday 5 March
  • Draycote Water SC - Thursday 12 March

As myself and the rest of the regional team have been going around our clubs as part of our regular winter club meeting, the forums have received a very warm response so hopefully we will see as many of you as possible. BOOK HERE NOW - Midlands Club Development Sessions. 

Booking open for Instructor Training Day

You might have caught this on our RYA Midlands social media over Christmas that bookings are now open for our regional Instructor Training Day at Rutland SC on Saturday 8 February (1000-1700). As always there are a wide variety of sessions to choose from, all delivered by the specialists from the RYA regional and national training teams, plus some guest experts.

The theme this year is ‘Broadening your boating’ and, as such, six of the sessions are relevant to all instructors, no matter what your preferred RYA discipline. For example, how can technology improve your session delivery? This isn't about replacing instructors with tech but what tech is available to help people learn in your sessions, and it doesn't matter what you're teaching for this to make a difference.

Or it might even be you just have a personal interest in a particular discipline, but don't teach it, and these sessions are equally relevant to you too. For example, on paper, a session on 'Boating Safety knowledge' might not instantly stand out, but this one is being run by Tom and Rose Pederson. 

Having Birmingham-raised Tom, an RYA Powerboat Trainer with experiences with HM Coastguard and the RNLI, and Rose, who is the training co-ordinator for Ocean Safety, means the session will be full of personal insight and interactive demos of modern safety kit to really bring the topic to life. Ideal if you joy boating with your family and friends away from the inland waters of the Midlands.

On the water sessions will be run across dinghy sailing, windsurfing, powerboating and WindFoiling, but it's the new shore-based sessions that will ensure this year's Instructor Training Day gives everyone a reason to come along and freshen up their knowledge. Here are all the morning and afternoon sessions you can choose from - Agenda. Book here now - RYA Midlands Instructor Training Day 2020.

Even the most experienced instructors never stop learning. Recently we took our regional RYA Powerboat Trainers to Southampton to upskill in in navigational techniques and pilotage. Historically, most of this CPD has been run in the Midlands, but taking the team outside the region, and giving them something new to learn, helps keep their interest high while diversifying their own skills.

Opportunities to keep developing are as important for those at the top of the Training tree as it is for new instructors who are attending the Instructor Training Day for the first time. What are your plans for CPD in 2020?

'Discover Sailing' in 2020

At the Midlands Affiliated Clubs Conference, it was revealed there would be changes coming for Push The Boat Out and Try Sailing this year. Well, these changes have now been confirmed with Push The Boat Out rebranded as 'Discover Sailing 2020' and instead of the campaign being focused on one month, it will run from 10 April until the 30 September.

The new sign up process for running a 'Discover Sailing' event will give clubs and centres a choice of what resources you wish to order, as well as the ability to order additional resources you may wish to purchase. Clubs and centres will be able to sign up for resources at two points - before 7 February for events up to 30 June and before 27 April for events up to 31 September.     

A 'Discover Sailing' map on the RYA website will also be updated as each club or centre signs up to Discover Sailing and you will be able to amend your event details yourselves.  

Make sure you sign up for a special RYA webinar on 23 January at 7pm, which will go through the Push The Boat Out review findings and the changes made for Discover Sailing as a result - Book your place now.

Making the most of Tokyo 2020

Every Olympic year is a brilliant opportunity to capture the elevated public interest in sport and you should be thinking about how you can make the most of that now! The Tokyo 2020 Sailing Regatta gets underway on Sunday 26 July, with the medals decided on each day from Saturday 1 August to Wednesday 5 August.

The time difference means all the action will be happening around breakfast. So how can you tap into this? Could you host medal race breakfast socials with sailing afterwards? Could you plan some Discover Sailing sessions leading into autumn courses? Could you put on a summer holiday week for kids that includes breakfast and watching the racing?

Whatever you offer, be creative and be loud in your promotion to stand out against all the other sports that will also be looking to capitalise on the Olympic opportunity.


It's a busy month ahead with training days (regional and national) and the forums so I'm looking forward to bumping into lots of you and getting the chance to chat.

Have a great month,