December 2021

Here’s the latest news from across Wales from our Development Team.
2021 – What a year!!
As we approach Christmas, it is time to reflect on the year that’s been. We held a successful AGM recently with one of the highest attendances seen in recent year by our members (members defined as clubs/centres and affiliated organisations). The feedback we have received from our membership identified the preference for a virtual meeting, and the likelihood this will remain in place for some time.

At the meeting an annual review was provided to the membership with some of the highlights of the year:

  • Membership in Wales has increased, but yet to surpass the heights reached in 2016. Workforce development are seeing shoots of growth with an increase in DI’s and SI’s in Wales.
  • Over £80,000 was provided to our clubs and centres through the Sport Wales Be Active Wales Fund. In addition, other grants and loans have been provided through Welsh Government, Welsh Council for Voluntary Association, and similar funding partners.
  • We welcomed 447 attendees to the 23 RYA Cymru Wales Development Forums over the Winter/Spring period of 2021.
  • We got to celebrate a first for Wales, Clwb Hwylio y Felinheli/Port Dinorwic Sailing Club winning the coveted title of Club of the Year and taking the ‘Heart of the Community’ award alongside it.
  • Innovative engagements across Wales, including an Aspiring Instructors Programme in Pembrokeshire, Junior and Women’s Keelboat Academy in Cardiff, whilst 12 young women engaging on The Outdoor Partnership ‘New Horizons’ project providing sailing opportunities, with RYACW supporting training opportunities inc. PB2, First Aid, Basic Nav and Sea Survival.
  • All Afloat – our Charity Partner resumed activity thankfully over the Summer, providing 11 projects across 6 clubs and centres, offering over 300 hours of sailing, over 270 children accessing time on the water, delivering in some of the most deprived areas of Wales, with a quarter identifying a disability or impairment, along with specific sessions for groups from ethnic diverse communities.

If you missed our AGM, please contact a recording of the meeting.

We now very much look forward to 2022!!

In other news……

A group of pupils from St. Mary’s School in Brymbo recently took part in some sailing sessions at Gresford Sailing Club. The small group of children, all with Additional Learning Needs, absolutely adored their time on the water. The sessions were funded by All Afloat, using Hansa’s owned by the charity.

The children loved sailing the Hansa’s and visiting Gresford’s ‘Pirate Island’ pontoon! The club and their instructors and volunteers made everyone feel so welcome and created a wonderful safe and fun environment for both the staff and children.

The school’s Headteacher, Austin, put it perfectly: The children just grew and made giant strides even though each step was small. The staff too were challenged, their expectations of what these children can do has grown 10-fold. A huge thank you for the opportunity and I hope we can access your support again.”

This photo also says it all!

RYA Volunteer Awards

It was great to see recently that so many volunteers receiving a prestigious national award by HRH the Princess Royal, president of the Royal Yachting Association (RYA), in recognition of their exceptional generosity and commitment to the sport at grassroots level.

The Volunteer Awards recognise the outstanding contribution made by volunteers throughout the UK.  Not only rewarding the longest-standing volunteers but also families, committed youngsters and most importantly, those that have had an impact. 

Here in Wales, like everywhere else, we’re so lucky to have so many fantastic volunteers, and here are our winners from Wales:

  • Lifetime Commitment – Des George, Dovey Yacht Club
  • Outstanding Contribution – Ian Whitehouse, Clwb Hwylio Y Felinheli
  • Young Volunteer – Rhys Bromhall, Neyland Yacht Club
  • Family Award – Powell/Bailey Family – Keith, Jo, Ffion and Jac – Clwb Hwylio Y Felinheli
  • RYA Regional Award – Mike Butterfield
Overcoming Governance and Legal Challenges workshop

Thank you to those of you who attended the Overcoming Governance and Legal Challenges workshop with Mandy Peters and Adam McGovern on the 30thNovember. The same webinar is scheduled to run again in January and a recording of it will be available after that.

Developing and Modernising your facilities workshop

Thank you also to those of you who attended the Developing and Modernising your facilities workshop with Gareth Brookes and Ben Smith on the 23rd November 2021. This webinar is also scheduled to run again in January and a recording of it will be available after that.

Also, here are a number of links that maybe helpful.

Sport Wales has very little information available on facility development, so it’s worth as an alternative having a look at Sport England which has a lot.

Overall design page from Sport England:

SE Project management doc good and links to RIBA:

Club Matters:


Toolkit online (PDF attached) – the online is friendlier as it is broken down into sections. The PDF is 31 pages long:

Sport England have a check list as well:


20 ways to Green your club (attached). There is the stand with this on as well which is in the networking area. This will be in the new ‘Green Guide for Clubs’ documents that The Green Blue are currently working on.

Environmental Check Lists (top of page)

Sport England’s sustainability checklist/ documents  (attached and link) -

Recruiting and Motivating your Volunteers workshop

Thank you to those of you who attended the Recruiting and Motivating your Volunteers workshop with Jeff McGill and Michelle Gent on the 25th ofNovember. This webinar is scheduled to run again in January too, and a recording of it will be available after that.

Further information on volunteering can be found here:

RYA Dinghy and Watersports Show – 26th & 27th February 2022.

The RYA Dinghy and Watersports Show IS BACK, packed full of hands-on dinghy and watersports displays and demos, all the latest kit and gear, interactive workshops, and coaching sessions plus plenty of opportunities to catch up with old friends and fun for the whole family.

For much more information and to book your tickets, please click here:

That’s it from us this month – see you in 2022!
The RYA Cymru Wales Development Team.