January 2022

Happy New Year to you all! The new year brings new hope, new beginnings and new opportunities. There’s lots going on so here’s a quick snapshot as well as an introduction to People, Places and Communities!

What do we mean by People, Places & Communities?

You will have seen that the phrase ‘People, Places and Communities’ is appearing in a lot of information that is coming out from RYA Scotland – be that in the Scottish Club Chat, Social Media Posts, at our October Gathering or during the conversations and visits from the Regional Development Officers late last year. It will be the key phrase within our new RYA Scotland Strategy for 2022-25 and we wanted to take this opportunity to tell you a little bit more about it.

We know that it is ‘people, places and communities’ that make up boating in Scotland! And our role is to support them. So, what do we mean……

Firstly, People – they are at the very core of boating in Scotland, and they can be sailors, participants, RYA members, volunteers, coaches, instructors etc. When we talk about this, our aim is to make sure that the ‘people’ who make up our sport, who volunteer and work in our communities and organisations are successful in their chosen path. That they feel supported in what they do with access to the correct resources and help, and to be valued by their community for their successes, efforts & contributions.  Boating should also be inclusive of all, provide a welcoming space for all and be proactive around sustainability.

Secondly, Places – these bring our people and our diverse community together to share their common interest of boating in Scotland. We see ‘places’ as both physical (clubs, centres, organisations) and where we do our activity as well as virtual places. We know that they are key to people working together, to delivering & encouraging learning, training and competition, as well as to providing the opportunity to socialise and build friendships. Places are continuing to evolve, and in some cases a complete facilities rebuild is needed, and they need to work to ensure they are successful, sustainable, and vibrant places. They also need to be accessible to everyone who wants to be involved, inclusive to allow this to happen and aware of how to protect the environment around them. They need to also support new people into boating and encourage ongoing participation, be that cruising, training or racing, that supports health and wellbeing. Places need to be flexible so that they can serve as a focal point for more than just boating and can adapt to social change and the needs of the community.

Finally, Communities – these give people and places a sense of belonging and connect them through their common interest or their local, regional, or national identity. So, by communities, we mean the communities that make-up Scottish boating, for example class associations or groups of people with a common interest, but we also mean the community within which places sit. We need to ensure that we build on the fact that more people have rediscovered their local community and that our places can be the ‘heart of and connected to’ people to support them, give enjoyment, a place to participate and the sense of wellbeing that being on or near the water gives. 

We will continue to delve into what this means for you as we roll out the RYA Scotland strategy and meet with you over the coming months.

Vote for Aberdeen & Stonehaven Yacht Club (ASYC)

The closing date for this year’s RYA and Yachts & Yachting Club of the Year supported by Gallagher Competition is 24th January 2022. ASYC are our Scottish representatives in this competition and are one of ten finalists that were selected to go through to the voting stage. With less than 10 days to go, we would like to encourage you to vote for ASYC as it would be great to see the hard work that the club has done further recognised on the UK Stage. The winners will be announced at the RYA Dinghy & Watersports Show in February 2022.

If you would like any more details about the competition, including how to vote for Aberdeen and Stonehaven Yacht Club, you can find them here.

We are hiring!

It is with regret that we have to say goodbye to two members of our team in February! Robin will be staying within RYA Scotland but is taking over from Nikki Stewart as Coach Education Development Manager (until July 2023) and Ryan is leaving us to join a local community trust.

We wish them both well on their fantastic new appointments, however it does leave us with space for two new individuals to join our team! So, if you are great at supporting discussions, helping organisations to be the best they can be, happy at having challenging conversations and would like to help support the People, Places and Communities within Scotland, especially the West and North Regions then we are interested in hearing from you!

Full information, including job descriptions and how to apply can be found here on our website. Please note the closing date is 12noon on 31st January 2022.

Save the Date

The RYA Scotland Affiliated & Recognised Organisations Conference is due to take place on Sunday 6th March 2022 at the Stirling Court Hotel. However, due to Covid restrictions, advice and the potential limitations we may need to put in place, we are currently considering whether to go ahead in person or hold an online event with some smaller and more local opportunities to get together in March, April and May. Information will be confirmed in the next week or so.

Instructors & Coaches

Our Spring theme for our instructor development in Scotland is to Refresh, Re-connect and Get Ready ahead of the 2022 Season.   

This year with the aim delivering activity more locally, working in smaller groups and getting everyone ready for the season, we are having a series of regional practical gatherings. This does mean that the annual RYA Scotland Instructor Gathering on the 19th of February will not go ahead but we hope that you will be able to join us in March.

This will be a great chance to think about refreshing your own skills, thinking about getting creative with your sessions and ensuring that your kit is also ready to start the season.

Workshops are aimed at dinghy, windsurfing and powerboat instructors and will vary slightly dependant on the region but will be following the above themes.  Please feel free to contact Robyn Phillips if you would like further information on your regions.

The dates are;

19th March – Port Edgar

20th March – Castle Semple

26th March – Galloway Activity Centre

27th March – Loch Insh

To sign up, visit our booking system.

There will be some further powerboat Instructor dates added in the coming weeks at different venues. 

There will be a series of online sessions starting on the 9th of February which will be delivered Nationwide by the RYA.  This will include the RYA Training Schemes update, and booking will become available very soon

The last word 

Finally, please remember that there are still some Scottish Government guidance and restrictions for ‘Beyond Level 0’ means to us in a sporting context. For your information the RYA Scotland guidance for boating can be found on our website.

If you have any questions, then please do not hesitate to get in contact with the team. We hope you to catch up with you all soon!

Take care and stay safe!

The Development Team, aka Robin, Georgia, Ryan & Liza