Bens Buzz - October 2021

Catch up with all the latest news for the Midlands with Regional Development Officer Ben Hodgson...

We’ve had lots to celebrate in the region over autumn, including the BYS Midlands Regional Junior Championships at Glossop SC for our windsurfers, followed by Carsington SC for our upcoming young dinghy sailors. From my point of view it was great to see so many young participants and their parents along with coaches and instructors from their clubs.

As well as all the junior sailing activity going on, it was really good to get back to that sense of community that we have in the Midlands: to make contact with people for the first time in a while, and with some parents for the very first time, being able to facilitate introductions and put members of different clubs and centres in touch with each other.

It was not only a cracking event but also a superb opportunity for sharing knowledge and skills from around the region, particularly in relation to OnBoard and the Regatta fleets, where clubs and parents can learn from each other. Just those conversations between people are so useful. If you haven’t already, you can catch up with our round up of the BYS Midlands Regional Junior Championships here.

Instructor training

Our second RYA Dinghy Senior Instructor course of the year took place at Aztec Adventure Upton Warren and the Andrew Simpson Centre Birmingham and I was able to drop by on a breezy day to see the participants in action. The SI role is so important for RYA Recognised Training Centres and it was good to see nine more people taking the course and new skills back to their clubs and venues. We’re already scoping SI courses for 2022 and plan to have one early in the year in the East Midlands followed by another in the West Midlands later in the year.

For instructors who may have been finding it difficult to find courses to get their First Aid qualifications updated, we now have two First Aid courses now bookable online at RYA Midlands Instructor Courses. Please do bookmark this page for courses in the region, and to stay connected with opportunities, there is also our RYA Midlands Instructors group on Facebook. For any further information or questions, feel free to contact me so I can assist.


Congratulations go to Shropshire SC, who recently celebrated the opening of their brand new club house thanks to a lot of hard work by members and a variety of funding mechanisms including a  Sport England grant. If your club is looking for support to develop facilities, kit or projects, remember to catch up with our new #FundingFriday series on Facebook.

Sailing Development Officer Howard Nelson has been sharing his expertise in regular videos to help clubs find and apply for grants. Howard has details not only about some of the bigger grant funders like Sport England but also an encyclopaedic knowledge about some of the more elusive smaller pots of money which clubs can tap into with the right know-how. Watch out for #FundingFriday posts @RYAMidlands on Facebook because they really are five minutes well spent!

Affiliated Clubs Conference

Whatever ambitions your club has for the coming year and beyond to benefit members and engage new ones, our Midlands region 2021 RYA Affiliated Clubs Conference will have the support and expertise you need to plan ahead for a successful future.

Following the national online part of the conference on the evening of Monday 8 November, we will be having our own event on Sunday 28th November at National Memorial Arboretum at Alrewas, near Lichfield, Staffordshire. It’s a fantastic venue and the programme allows time for delegates to continue networking afterwards if you want to walk-and-talk while exploring the grounds.

In addition to a session looking at club development, there will be four key workshops comprising the core topics clubs have told us is important to them - volunteering, facilities, membership and legal. The conference is also an opportunity for you to meet our RYA Midlands team, including myself, Tim Hall (RPM), Brett Cokayne (DDO), our Sailing Development Officers and our dedicated Regional Volunteer Team headed up by chair Steven Tinsley.

We’re really looking forward to seeing you all at the conference, which is ideal for flag officers, committee members, staff and any volunteers involved in helping to run your club. Remember to book your FREE ticket here!

And finally…

A quick reminder that our Midlands rules advisors David Wilkins and Steve Watson are currently planning their winter programme and invite any clubs which might like to host a workshop or evening talk to get in touch via the Regional Volunteer Team.

To stay up to date with all latest the announcements for the clubs in the region, follow @RYAMidlands on Facebook and/or Twitter and please do feel free to tag or message us if you would like us to share any of your news.

Until next time, Ben.