RYA Affiliated Clubs Conference banner showing sailing and powerboatingPutting people first - sign up for the Affiliated Clubs Conference!

As we approach the RYA North East Affiliated Clubs Conference at the end of the month, it’s been interesting to look at some of the findings from the recent RYA Volunteer Survey.

The results included a number of eye-opening statistics highlighting the importance of this year’s conference theme - putting people first – with figures showing that:

  • 92% of respondents were either ‘very’ or ‘fairly’ satisfied with their volunteering experience 
  • 14% of members surveyed had not completed any tasks or volunteering duties during the last 12 months 
  • 47% of club members want to contribute more to their club
  • members completed an average of 7 duties each
  • 20% of club members are completing two thirds of the total number of club duties
  • 88% of people chose a desire to help the sport or club as a primary motivation for volunteering
  • 56% chose a reason related to personal enjoyment as a primary motivation for volunteering

It underlines how essential it is to inspire members and volunteers, and this year’s RYA North East Affiliated Clubs Conference will have 17 specialist workshops to help!

A whole variety of workshops will be packed with expert insights for clubs, including: how best to support safety teams; making club management easier; volunteer management; developing young people, coaches and instructors; adding value with the RYA; sourcing funding; engaging non-racers and non-sailing families; promoting sailing; and converting visitors into members.

This year’s conference takes place at Leeds Trinity University on Saturday 30 November and tickets are FREE with parking, refreshments and lunch all included! Make sure your club doesn’t miss out - find out more and book here.

Volunteer Awards!

Volunteers are literally the lifeblood of our sport and it is fantastic to see their contribution recognised each year by the RYA Volunteer Awards, which will be presented this year by HRH The Princess Royal in London on Friday 22 November. The awards are rightly considered the ‘MBEs' of the sport, honouring people throughout the UK nominated by their clubs and centres.

I am hugely proud that four of this year’s recipients are from our North East region. Congratulations to Erica Caswell of Yorkshire Dales Sailing Club; Peter Crook of Ellerton Park Scout Water Activity Centre ( North Yorkshire Scouts); Tony Freeth of Royal Northumberland Yacht Club; and Tim Wilson of Thornton Steward Sailing Club. A huge thank you to all of you for your dedication and hard work in supporting your clubs and our sport.

The Big One!

It was great to see the RYA North East Youth Championships attracting 45 sailors from right across the country to compete at Yorkshire Dales Sailing Club. Although the wind gods were not too supportive, the race team managed to get three good races in for the sailors and the feedback from parents and competitors for the event has been hugely positive. The Yorkshire Dales ethos of ensuring everyone had a great time on shore as well as on the water went a long way to making it a memorable weekend for all, with a hot tub on the patio and then the bonfire party in the evening creating a great atmosphere.

A big thank you to everyone involved for their hard work in helping to organise this event, including the RYA North East Regional Volunteer Team and of course everyone at the club. It has helped to put Yorkshire Dales SC on the map and as event lead Erica Caswell points out, while some might think of our clubs as being in the North, we know they’re actually pretty central for any classes wanting to get the best of Britain’s sailors together from as far afield as Scotland and the south coast! You can check out the full report from the championship here

Close racing in the 29er fleet at the RYA North East Youth ChampionshipsClub of the Year finalist

Congratulations also go to Yorkshire Dales SC on being named a finalist in the 2020 RYA / Yachts & Yachting Magazine Club of the Year Awards! The club has long had a well-deserved reputation for its great facilities, racing and socials, along with its warm welcome for both members and visitors. It has also had a great year, gaining both RYA Training Centre status and RYA OnBoard accreditation to further strengthen its foundations for a vibrant future. The overall winner in the awards will be determined by the public. Voting opens on 13 December and we’ll urging everyone to get behind our regional finalist – watch this space for details on how you can help bring the trophy home to Yorkshire and the North East!

Sailability funding

Sport England has announced a new £250,000 fund to provide training and equipment aimed at helping disabled people to become more active. Amounts of between £1,000 and £5,000 are available and we’re keen to hear from any clubs and centres that either have partnerships or are looking to develop links with organisations such as disability groups or charities like MIND.

This is a really useful funding stream for those wanting to expand their kit, including training dinghies, providing an opportunity to improve the quality and quantity of equipment available to disabled people. We’d highly recommend applying for the funding should you have a project or idea that would be suitable and more information on the fund and guidance for applying can be found here

If you would like to discuss a project that you feel this funding might be useful for or if you would like assistance in building your application, please contact RYA Disability Development Officer (North) James Wheeldon who will be happy to assist.

Remember to follow us on Facebook and/or Twitter @RYANorthEast for all the latest news from the region!

Happy sailing!