Robbie's Blog September 2020


Hi everyone,

As we move towards the end of the summer season and the nights start to draw in, it�s certainly been a strange year to reflect back on. For many of us, sailing has not taken its usual format, but it�s been encouraging to see many clubs try something new and experiment with different types of activity, many of which we can take forward for the future.

2020 Affiliated Clubs Conference � Saturday 21 November

With that in mind, I am looking forward to the Affiliated Clubs Conference this November. To be held on Saturday 21 November, this year it is going virtual � so save the date now! With the theme being 'A different world with new opportunities', the innovative format will make it more accessible than ever for clubs wanting to catch up with all the latest insights. Hosted by double Olympic gold medallist and broadcaster Shirley Robertson, there will be an exciting programme of guest speakers alongside interactive �stands� and workshops. It is hoped that these will provide clubs with a wealth of ideas for developing their activities towards a vibrant future. The Conference on 21 November will run from 10am to 1.30pm, while the associated workshops will be accessible via online Club Development Webinars streamed the week commencing Monday 23 November, with recorded versions available for those unable to make the specific times.

Clubs will be able to network, and throughout the conference weekend there will be an online expo area with RYA �stands� offering bookable 1-1 appointments, text chat, downloadable resources and on-demand video. This area will also host regional updates. I really see this exciting format providing new opportunities and hope that you will be able to join us then.

Season Review Meetings

We are also starting to plan Season Review Meetings with clubs to reflect back on the activities of the past year, along with planning for the 2021 season. Please get in touch if this would be helpful for your Club.

Yachts at sunset

Sailability and OnBoard venues invited to apply for funding

The RYA has been awarded �150,000 of National Lottery Funding from Sport England�sTackling Inequalities Fund which aims to tackle inequalities in sport and physical activity and help reduce the negative impact of COVID-19.

Through this funding, RYA OnBoard and Sailability venues in England are invited to apply for grants of up to �10,000 that will be used for projects which engage with:

  • Lower socio-economic groups
  • Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Communities
  • Disabled People
  • People with long term health conditions

The funding is available for non-profit organisations only and the application criteria and application forms can be found on the RYA website. The deadline is 21 September 2020.

General funding Update

During these unprecedented circumstances we realise that money has been tight for clubs and that by now many of you will have been financially affected so will be looking for ways to save money/raise funds going forward � here are a few ways of raising funds/ideas you may wish to consider.

Funds to help Clubs during the Coronavirus Pandemic:

There are several funds that have been created specifically with the financial impact of Covid-19 in mind, to provide support to clubs and organisations. In addition to the Sport England Emergency Community Fund through which a number of East Region Clubs had successful bids (this was expected to finish at the end of July, but is currently paused) and Local Authority funding, there are also the following funds:

  • Sport England Crowdfunder � Active Together:�If your sports club has had to cease operations due to the ongoing pandemic and in doing so is experiencing short term financial difficulty, you can set up a crowdfunding campaign and apply for up to �10,000 of match funding.�
  • Tesco Bags of Help Covid-19 Communities Fund� Tesco Bags of Help has responded to the current COVID-19 crisis by setting up a new fund to support local communities, whereby funding of up to �500 is available to clubs, groups or organisations. The deadline is 1.00am Friday�18th�September 2020. Find out more

Some broader fundraising ideas/cost saving ideas:

  • Get some advice on�energy bills� organisations such as�Utility Aid�will carry out a free energy audit remotely by analysing your bills.
  • The�Screwfix Foundationcurrently offers local registered charities and not for profit organisations funding of up to �5,000. The funding is for projects that relate to the repair, maintenance, improvement or construction of homes, community buildings and other buildings in deprived areas or for those in need.
  • Club clothing� there are several manufacturers that offer club branded online clothing and product stores with no up-front cost. Your members can shop for club branded products, earning the club up to 20% every time they purchase.

Of course, this is not an exhaustive list � and you may have specific needs for various projects. We know that some of you are keen to gather funding for bigger projects relating to facilities � this is more difficult at the moment, particularly with the Sport England Community Asset Fund still closed � but if you have a particular project in mind, please get in touch and we can look to see if there is any suitable funding available. Please contact

British Youth Sailing Regional Junior Championships

We are looking forward to this event taking place on Sat 26/Sun 27 September at Grafham Water. Although it may look a little different, with limited numbers of entries, it will hopefully be a great opportunity for our young sailors to get on the water and enjoy some racing. An OnBoard Fun Fleet will also run alongside on the Saturday (26), aimed at young sailors under 13 years who are RYA Stage 2/3 standard � find out more and book here.

Last call for Club of the Year!

Applications for the 2021 RYA and Yachts & Yachting Club of the Year Awards�will close at 9am Monday 21 September 2020. Could your club be a winner? There will be a finalist for each RYA region plus two �wild cards�, along with special commendations in the following categories: Heart of the Community; Modern and Innovative; Sustainability; Inclusive and Open to all; and Boosting Membership.

We�ve had some great East Region winners and finalists in the past, and we know that clubs have been doing brilliant things this year, so please do think about applying.

Hope to see you soon,