RDO Blog - January 2022

Catch up on all the latest RYA North East news for clubs and centres with Regional Development Officer Sam Usher...

As we head into to the New Year, we’ve been working hard to make sure there are as many opportunities as possible for our clubs and centres to get set for a successful season.

Whether your club is looking for ideas, funding or courses, there is lots going on across the region and nationally, including new grants, online workshops and training for instructors.

The first in our January series of Club Development Sessions - “How can we retain more members?” - was full of useful insights and is now available as a recording if you missed it.

The remainder of the series is likewise set to provide useful information for clubs looking to plan for the year ahead, with sessions looking at recruiting volunteers, developing facilities and legal/governance challenges, and you can register for these here.

Afterwards if you have any further questions or club development plans you would like to discuss or need support with, please do remember that you are very welcome to get in touch, as the RYA North East team and our experts at head officer are here to help.

Training courses

Unfortunately our RYA North East Instructor Training Day - along with all of those due to have taken place nationwide - will no longer be going ahead as a result of the high levels of Covid cases and isolations due to Omicron.

However, there will be a national online series of short 20-30 minute sessions for your instructors to catch up with all the latest scheme updates. And we have more than a dozen RYA North East courses and skills development days now open for booking in the region for clubs, instructors and coaches:

  • Dinghy: Dinghy Senior Instructor; Dinghy Instructor Revalidation Day; Discover Instructing (Dinghy); and Dinghy Instructor Skills Development.
  • Powerboat: Aspiring Powerboat Trainer; Safety Boat Course; Powerboat & Safety Boat Handling Skills Development Day; Discover Instructing (Powerboat); Powerboat Instructor; Powerboat Instructor Skills Development.
  • Windsurfing: Start Windsurfing Instructor; Windsurfing Instructor Revalidation; Discover Instructing (Windsurfing); Intermediate Windsurfing Instructor Prep Day; Windsurfing Instructor Skills Development; and Senior Instructor.

All our courses are bookable here and we’ll be adding to the list over the coming weeks so please let your members, volunteers and instructors know about what’s available. There is also our RYA NE Instructors and Coaches group on Facebook for keeping up with the latest announcements.

Funding opportunities

Sport England has just released details about the Queen's Platinum Jubilee Activity Fund, which aims to tackle inequalities and support projects that bring a community together and provide opportunities for people who may be less physically active.

There are awards of between £300 and £10,000 available from a National Lottery pot of £5 million and I’d urged clubs with specific priority groups they would like to reach - for example, for Sailability and or from disadvantaged areas - to find out more and consider applying.

In the meantime it’s been pleasing to see our first applications coming in for the new RYA North East Volunteer Development and Martin Boatman Legacy Fund. This aims to support clubs, classes and individuals within the region who want to access training or courses with the aim of increasing participation or membership. Grants of up to £250 are available to support volunteer development across all aspects of boating and also for young people aged under 30 who would like to develop race coach skills. You can apply for this funding programme here.

Last chance to vote

Voting for the RYA and Yachts & Yachting Club of the Year Awards close on Monday 24th January 2022 so if you haven’t already done so, please do take a look at what makes our regional finalist stand out and help Teesdale Sailing & Watersports Club bring home the trophy to the North East. Find out more about Teesdale SWC here and remember to cast your vote!

And finally…

If you’re looking to help your members stay engaged with boating over winter, there is the RYA eSailing Winter Club Championship 2022, with all RYA Affiliated Clubs invited to enter one eSailor by the entry deadline of 7 February. Have a think about putting forward and cheering on your best online racing sailor, or you might like to run heats to select someone from your club to enter.

Thanks to our RYA North East Regional Volunteer Team, we also have a series of four online Winter Cruising Talks, starting Tuesday 18th January at 7.30pm with British Sailing Team meteorologist Simon Rowell, who will be helping you make the most of weather forecasts.

These monthly talks will take place at RYA North East on Facebook and whether you enjoy cruising on canals or inland waters, or along our stunning coastline, hopefully you will find this series enjoyable and full of handy know-how as the days gradually lengthen and inspire all of us to spend more time on the water.

Stay up to date with the latest news, tips and reminders for your club by following @RYANorthEast on Facebook and/or Twitter.

Wishing you all a great start to 2022!