RDO Blog November 2021

Robbie's Blog for November

Hi everyone,

Another month has flown by, and whilst there is traditionally less activity on the water during the cooler months, it does provide a great opportunity to plan for the 2022 season, with plenty going on behind the scenes.

Facilities survey:

Thanks to all the clubs that have already completed the Facilities Survey - the information you have given us is really insightful. From this we can better understand some of the threats and challenges you are facing, and this then informs the work we can do to support you. Only a relatively small sample of clubs completed the survey; however, it’s clear that there are some trends we can pick out, albeit with a little caution due to the low percentage of returns received. The Survey asked questions ranging from threats to club activity through to club management system usage. Clubs were asked to let us know about any threats they were facing, and clubhouse deterioration was listed as the biggest issue for 19% of respondents, not entirely surprising when a lot of clubs have been around for such a long time and of course located in quite challenging environments. For those that are concerned about the future of their clubhouse and are keen to learn more about facility development and funding, we are running a workshop at the face-to-face Affiliated Club Conference on Saturday 27 November 2021 at The Royal Hospital School, Ipswich. If you are interested, please sign up at the link below.

Getting together and reconnecting:

As mentioned above, we are hosting our Affiliated Club Conference on 27 November at The Royal Hospital School. At the time of writing there are representatives from 46 clubs signed up to attend this event. The agenda is based on your feedback, so this year there is a narrowed selection of interactive workshops but there’s still plenty of opportunity for you to network with one another and of course with the RYA team present. We’re fortunate enough to have Ian Walker (Director of Racing) with us for the day, providing a great opportunity to find out more about recent Olympic successes, whilst Mandy Peters (Legal Manager), will also be on hand to answer all your tricky questions. We will also be joined by Phil Horton (Environment and Sustainability Manager), and there will be a whole host of expertise on technical services, safeguarding and equality, junior racing, funding, volunteering, accessibility and lots more. It’s all free for club representatives and includes lunch! Sign up here.

Club catch-ups:

I am really enjoying getting out and visiting clubs, discussing your successes and challenges and learning about your plans for the coming season and years ahead. It was great to visit Marconi Sailing Club at the end of last month - I was there helping to film a case study video for the online Affiliated Club conference. It was really inspiring to hear about how they have an ‘Ambitions’ document that they work from to ensure they continue to develop and evolve. Marconi SC relies purely on volunteers and their membership has grown by over 25% over the last few years. They put this down to a few key things: their drive to diversify their activity (introducing training, keelboat league, gig rowing and lots more), their ability to bring new members in and keep them, and ultimately the way they have created an environment that feels like a big family. Well done Marconi! If you would like to get together to have a catch up then please do get in touch (Robbie.bell@rya.org.uk)

PY Online:

Finally I’d just like to thank all the clubs that use the PY system for submitting their returns – or, if you’re about to submit them, thanks in advance. The PY Online site thrives on the data received; the more information we gather, the more robust the suggested PY’s are, and these in turn enable you to run fair racing for all your sailors. If you haven’t yet looked into this, please do, it’s there to support you. And, of course, you can find out more at the Affiliated Club Conference.

Keep in touch

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram – to keep in touch with members over the coming months, and to enable you to keep us updated with your activities and plans.

I look forward to seeing you soon,