RDO Blog - January 2022

Ben's Buzz! Catch up with all the latest news for Midlands club and centres with Regional Development Officer Ben Hodgson...

Happy new year! I hope you have all had a good break despite the ongoing uncertainties resulting from Covid and are now raring to go for the coming season.

Right now, many of you are looking towards membership renewals, so please do remember to tell people about your achievements in 2021 and what is planned socially and on the water for 2022.

Although we are in the less inspiring January, February and March months of the year, it is vital to keep trying to connect with members whether they are still visiting the club or not. While it might still feel busy with sailors who are taking part in racing events or winter series, there will be many more who have simply stayed at home.

eSailing is a great way to have fun and be sociable through the colder months and you might want to take a look at the RYA eSailing Winter Club Championship 2022 – all RYA Affiliated Clubs are invited to enter one eSailor by the entry deadline of 7 February and running heats to select your finalist is an opportunity to stay in competitive and in contact from the warmth of your own home.

In fact anything you can do to encourage engagement from members within the community of your club – whether that’s in-person social opportunities, work parties or Zoom quizzes – will very much help towards successful renewals and reduced membership churn.

The first in our January series of Club Development Sessions – “How can we retain more members?” – was full of ideas and is available as a recording if you missed it. The remainder of the series covers recruiting volunteers, developing facilities and legal/governance challenges, and if you haven’t already done so, you can register for these here.

Instructor Training Day

It’s with regret that our RYA Midlands Instructor Training Day will not be going ahead as originally envisaged, as a result of the high level of Covid cases and isolations due to Omicron, but we are hoping to make the most of the opportunities which are available.

There will be a national online series of short 20-30 minute sessions for instructors to catch up with all the latest scheme updates as well as some hot topics. And in the RYA Midlands region there will be a variety of outdoor on-the-water sessions at Rutland Sailing Club on Saturday 12 February, which are bookable here.

These so far include an opportunity for RYA Dinghy Instructors to achieve their Racing Instructor Endorsement and an Introduction to the new Wing Scheme, plus three sessions for powerboat instructors: Running Powerboat Training in Heavy or Displacement Craft; How to Deliver a Good Safety Boat Course; and How to Deliver Power Boat Pilotage and Navigational Skills Inland.

RYA courses

Other courses coming up this Spring include a Keelboat Instructor Endorsement weekend at Rutland SC, 5-6 March 2022 and a Dinghy Instructor Revalidation Day at Northampton SC, 5 March 2022. There are also just a couple of spaces left for our four-day Senior Instructor course at Nottingham SC and Notts County SC, 5-6 and 19-20 March 2022, so if this is of interest book asap.

One way or another we’re aiming to provide as many opportunities as possible to help clubs, centres and your instructor teams, get set for the 2022 season! Details about all instructor courses and CPD can be found at RYA Midlands Instructor Courses

Final call for Club of the Year

Voting for the RYA and Yachts & Yachting Club of the Year Awards closes on Monday 24th January 2022 so if you haven’t already done so, please do take a look at what makes our regional finalist Chelmarsh SC special here and cast your vote to help us bring home the trophy to the Midlands and put our fantastic region in the spotlight!


Finally, for clubs looking at ways to finance new initiatives or club developments, our Sailing Development Officer Howard Nelson is now back with his #FundingFriday videos. These are well worth catching up with as he really is an incredible source of knowledge about grants and pots of funding, as well as tips for being successful with applications.

Look out for these on Facebook every fortnight and remember you can stay up to date with all our latest courses, tips and news  by following @RYAMidlands on Facebook and/or Twitter

Wishing you all a great start to 2022!