Robbie's Blog November 2020


Hi everyone,

As we are back into another lockdown and our sailing activities are limited once more (the latest RYA Advice and Guidance is available here), I know many of you are planning for the winter and ahead to next year. There has also been a lot to learn from the past 8 months, with many new initiatives and ways of working resulting in significant achievements It�s been great to hear the stories of so many clubs that managed to make activity happen safely, within guidelines, and with record numbers in some cases. Often member engagement has been greater than usual; I believe it will be critical to maintain this through the winter in order to come back stronger next season and mitigate for further reductions in membership.

There will be a number of opportunities for you to engage with us during online conferences and forums - more below. However, please do not hesitate to get in touch should you need any additional support, advice or guidance, we are here to help where we can.

RYA Affiliated Clubs Conference 2020

We�re looking forward to this year�s Affiliated Clubs Conference, which will look a little different to last year. In 2019, we had 130 people on site at the Royal Hospital School attending to hear national updates, guest speakers and participating in a range of sessions, with over 50 clubs networking and sharing ideas. This year the Conference is taking place online, which makes it much more accessible, meaning that you can join from the comfort of your own home. If you�re wondering why your club should attend - we recognise that it�s been an incredibly difficult year for so many clubs, but decisions clubs are making now will have a significant impact on their future viability. Our aim is to help you understand the current wider landscape, provide opportunities for you to engage with RYA teams and hear about the work we are doing, whilst still giving you the opportunity to discuss what you�ve heard and network with peers from across the region and nationwide. As mentioned, we would like to help clubs, to not only bounce back next season, but come back stronger � and we know how hard many of you have been working already to do this. The event is free to all affiliated clubs and I�d like to extend the invitation to your wider committees and members. Unfortunately, we cannot provide the fantastic lunch this year, but at least you can choose your own! The main event is just 3 � hours long on Saturday 21�November. Our host is Olympic gold medallist and broadcaster Shirley Robertson, guest speakers include Sir Ben Ainslie and Chris Grant, Sport England Board Member, and there will be a live interview with our CEO Sarah Treseder. There is also an exhibition area that will be open from Friday (20 Nov) at midday until Sunday (22 Nov) lunchtime, so there will be plenty of opportunities to dip in and out, arrange meetings with staff, listen to updates and more. You can even revisit sessions after the event; the key thing is to register to secure your place. Find out more and book your place here.

Club Development Workshops/Webinars

There is an RYA East Region Club Development Forum taking place on Wednesday 11 November at 7.30pm. This is free for all clubs, and the session will focus on engaging members over the winter, thinking ahead to renewals, and provide plenty of opportunity for discussion between clubs. You can book here.

Additionally, to support you in your aims of developing your club, we are launching a series of club development webinars week commencing 23�November. Topics range from developing your club through to volunteer recruitment, improving satisfaction and community engagement, with seven subjects in all, each running for three consecutive weeks. The webinars will be delivered live and recordings will be available after the sessions. Sign up here.

Tell us how we can support you

We recognise that there will be continued challenges over the winter and coming months, so please let us know how we can support you � whether it be through individual club meetings, instructor development, funding advice or something else � please get in touch with your thoughts �

Yachts sailing past a windmill on the Norfolk Broads

Hope to �see� you all on 21 November if not before,


Photograph thanks to Paddy Wildman.