The month of April has seen a variety of engagement opportunities spring to life and continue to evolve whether it be #SailFromHome growing to support not only our junior sailors but to all aspects of boating from OnBoard to Race Official Training to Club Development to Funding Fridays; or the explosion of eSailing and online meetings & webinars. We, at RYA Scotland have continued to offer Connect sessions where we can catch-up and ask questions and the team have also tried some new approaches.
So the first thing we want to draw your attention to is the NEW RYA Scotland Podcast Off the Water. The RYA Scotland team have been hard at work pulling the podcast together, led by Marc (Turner) & Claire (Caffrey) in our Communications Team. The presenting due Nikki (Stewart) and Jack give a fun and informal insight into some of the areas affected by current lockdown as well as providing some of the insights into the challenges our sports face. The first episode includes an interview with Stuart Carruthers, RYA Cruising Manager as well as an update from Kate Pounder, our Performance Sailing Officer, on #SailFromHome and an extract from Luke Patience following his recent Lockdown Cup win! Take some time away from your screens and have a listen to what's been happening here .
Secondly, as we've said there are a number of ways that RYA Scotland & the RYA are looking to engage with clubs, sailors and members across the sports. Over the past month we've had a fast growing programme of activities for our junior sailors called #SailFromHome and this has grown into updates to all areas of our sport. We at RYA Scotland are continuing to host our Connect sessions which are open to training centres, clubs, organisations and members to join us and have a conversation about what is happening and how we can support all areas to ensure we keep the links with people from throughout our sport. Our Performance team are also continuing to link to our junior sailors. We are also adding in some on-line videos and updates directly from the RYA Scotland and all this information (including timings and links to join events/sessions) can be found on our online calendar.
We at RYA Scotland, and the RYA, are keen to measure the impact and assess what support clubs, organisations and training centres have accessed and need. We are asking all affiliated organisations and recognised training centres to complete this short survey form- it should take around 5 minutes to complete and we thank you for doing so!
One area that seems to have really exploded onto the main stage is eSailing through Virtual Regatta. RYA Scotland recently held their VR Youth & Junior Spring Championships (more information available here) and we are looking forward to hosting the first ever virtual RYA Scotland Spring Club Championships Regional Finals on 16th May with the overall winner going forward to the RYA Spring Club Championships on 30th May.
If you are wondering what all the fuss is about or think you can have a go against others or would like some coaching, then check out the Virtual Regatta page on the RYA website (please note that it can take a little longer than normal to load due to the graphics).
As we continue to try to regularly exercise and take a daily walk or cycle in the fresh air it is worth noting that we've received some advice from the National Access Forum around accessing the outdoors. The guidance, for the public and for land owners, aims to remind people that although the access to most land, including paths, continue to apply these rights depend on responsible behaviour e.g. stay local, maintain social distancing, avoid touching surfaces like gates as much as possible. For the full guidance please see here.
Finally, following the recent Scottish Government paper (Covid-19 Framework for decision making) and government planned discussions with sports across the UK, we are currently working with the RYA and other boating & safety industry partners to plan for a safe return to boating as and when the current restrictions are eased.
We are very aware that safety and not spreading the virus are paramount these discussions that we have and that the lifting of restrictions will be a gradual process. We want to be in a position where we can return to boating safely and within the parameters of whatever restrictions are likely to remain in place when the current situation changes. Until then the message is very clear, stay off the water, stay at home and do not travel unless it is essential.
If you have any thoughts that you would like to add to the current conversation then please do not hesitate to get in touch.
We hope to catch-up for a coffee online soon, but please don't hesitate to get in touch for a chat or general check-in!
Take care and stay safe!
The Development Team, aka Robin, Jack & Liza