RDO Blog October 2022

Robbie's Blog for October

Hi everyone,

As the summer sailing season draws to a close, we’re fully into planning mode for the winter and beyond to help clubs make the most of the opportunities to develop and progress next year.

Club visits

It’s been good to get out and visit some clubs and centres and learn about how your season has been. It’s great to see that many of you have been embracing new forms of activity and I even managed a (not very successful) go at Winging the other day. There is an instructor course taking place in November at Grafham Water Centre for anyone interested, please contact them directly (it’s clearly too soon for me). I look forward to visiting more of you over the coming months and would very much welcome ideas from clubs and centres about support required over the winter, content for face-to-face workshops Jan- March, instructor development needs or anything else you think we can help with, I’d be glad to hear from you.

RYA Live Club Show 

Hopefully you caught the RYA Live Club Show that took place on Wednesday 05 October, which was hosted by Shirley Robertson, with Sara Sutcliffe (new CEO of the RYA) and Rob Clark (RYA Director of Sport Development). With club membership numbers having increased by 5.5% since 2016, and a 3-fold increase in the % of the population sailing last year as compared to 2020, this provides us with a great opportunity to capture those who are keen but not yet embedded in the sport – and now, we can be thinking about how we do this. The key messages to come from the sessions were embracing technology, and communicating with different communities within clubs, for example targeting communications within sub-groups through Whatsapp (e.g. racing/training/social); understanding the different motivations for different participants and providing a platform to support them (which may be non-traditional as your participants change and develop over time) and signposting opportunities within clubs. There are a number of RYA initiatives that can assist you with this, so please get in touch. The session also talked about how we are mindful of the impact of the cost of living crisis on both club’s running costs and the disposable income available through members – and encouraged clubs to complete the “Facilities & Utilities” survey, so that we can better understand the impact on clubs - find out more here and complete the survey by 26 October. You can watch the full briefing on the RYA East Facebook page. 

RYA Affiliated Clubs Conference

The RYA Live Club Show was also the pre-cursor to the in-person Affiliated Clubs Conference, which will be returning to the Royal Hospital School, Holbrook, on Saturday 26 November from 10am-3pm. Free to delegates from RYA Affiliated Clubs, this is ideal for anyone involved in managing your club or its activities, including: flag officers, committee members, staff and volunteers. There will be a programme of club development sessions led by experts that will explore the following areas:- 

  • What are the needs and motivations of your club members and how can you provide an experience that’s right for them?
  • How can you make your club welcoming to a wider range of members?  
  • What can you do to make your volunteers experience meaningful?
  • How can the RYA’s new Club Management Compliance Toolkit help you manage your club?
  • How to secure the funding you need for your club.
  • How can you increase yacht racing participation at your club?

You can find out more and book here.

RYA East Cruising Conference 

The next day, Sunday 27 November, will be the RYA East Cruising Conference, also to be held at the Royal Hospital School. Aimed at cruising boaters from across the East region, the objective is to provide an opportunity for the cruising community to come together, learn about the latest issues and opportunities that relate to your boating and hear from subject experts on a wide range of topics that are informative and enjoyable. It is open to all, with RYA members receiving 50% discount on the ticket price. You can view the full agenda and book here

Hope to see you at one of the events, if not before.