September 2021


As the summer season begins to wrap up, we really are grateful for the amount of activity that has been able to take place this year – given where restrictions and covid rates have been at times!

Scotland team

For RYA Scotland we are planning a variety of opportunities to get involved in online sessions, meetings with the teams and developing the new strategy for 2022-2025. One of the key changes moving forward will be the formation of regional plans and we are keen to ensure that the local communities get a chance to feed into identifying the ‘needs, challenges and best practice’ of each area. More about that later but we are keen to hear about how this affects your club, organisation, centre and how we can support you.


First up – Training for the Team

Over the past couple of months, the team have been busy getting out on the water! Well done to both Ryan and Georgia for completing their Powerboat Level 2s with iPowerboat and Edinburgh Marine Academy respectively. Also, a huge well done to Robin for retaining his Windsurf Trainer award and becoming one of 4 UK Windsurfing Race Coach Tutors. We continue, as a team, to undertake opportunities both in sports development and in boating/on the water to expand our knowledge so that we can be as upskilled as possible for the work with our communities.


Next up is a variety of online conference opportunities, starting with the Scottish Gathering:

People, Places & Communities – A Healthy Future = Sunday 24th October (9.30am – 1pm)

This year we are hosting an online gathering (via Zoom) where we hope to give those attending the opportunity to meet with others including the new team. The theme of this year’s sessions is based around how we can work together to support our people, places and communities and there will be a chance to link up with others in your regions. Over the course of the morning, we will be looking at regional challenges – what do you see, what would you like to improve – as well as thinking about how we can look towards a healthy boating future by sharing good practice, identifying local opportunities, and working together in partnership. Your involvement, sharing and feedback will be a key part of the formation of regional plans, covering all areas of work across the RYA Scotland team.

Places are free and anyone from your club, training centre, organisation can attend, however they need to book their free place by Wed 20th October 2021 by using this link.


RYA Affiliated Club Conference – Planning for a Successful Future = Monday 8th Nov (7.30-9.30pm)

This year’s events will be a mix of online sessions (8th Nov) and in person conferences and will explore the theme of ‘planning for a successful future’. It will discuss how clubs can move forwards – regardless of whether they are already capitalising on the staycation trend or struggling to resume pre-Covid levels of activities. The online conference will once again be hosted by Shirley Robertson OBE and will be a mix of key-note speakers and panellists with an opportunity to catch up with the latest developments and opportunities for clubs. To book your free place (for delegates from affiliated clubs) then please follow this link.


A follow-up ‘in person’ Scottish session will be taking place in March 2022 – more details to follow.


In terms of a more local approach, we are hosting Regional Roadshows during November 2021

Following the Development Gathering, the three Regional Development Officers (RDOs) will be getting out and about within their region to meet up with and continue the conversations with affiliated/recognised boating organisations. The planned outline dates are below, and the RDOs are currently mapping out potential areas as well as clubs, centres and organisations to meet with. If you would like to ask for a meeting or be linked into the ones we are planning then please email the Development team email with your organisation name and date preference:

  • West = Robin Nicol = 3rd – 12th November 2021
  • East = Georgia Moran = 5th – 7th November 2021
  • North = Ryan Beattie = 14th – 16th November 2021 (mainland Scotland, Islands dates to follow)



Next up we are looking for your help:

Shout out for new Participation & Development Sub-Committee Members

As part of our governance re-structuring as an organisation we are looking to re-establish the Participation & Development Committee. We are looking for people to work with us, to help shape and challenge what we do and to support the strategic and operational direction of the organisation. If you think you have the necessary skills then please look at our job page and submit a short letter and your CV to us before 27th September 2021.


Impact Survey – Please tell us your story

Over the past 7years, there have been huge strides made by some of our clubs, centres and organisations around how they work together, how they have developed people – sailors, racers, volunteers, instructors, committees – and how the sport has progressed. So on 8th September, we emailed out the community to ask for your help.

So, what is it for? We are looking to gather some of the stories around the programmes, initiatives and opportunities that have been undertaken and gain a better understanding of how organisations have done this, who has helped, who their partners were/are and how we can learn lessons from others.  Therefore, if you would like to share your story to help broaden the insight and increase the knowledge, that we as RYA Scotland, have of the work done within the boating community then please complete this short survey. If you would prefer to talk through this with one of the team, then do not hesitate to get in touch!


Final couple of points for us:

Tackling Marine Litter: An Upstream Battle – fancy getting involved?

This is an ambitious Keep Scotland Beautiful campaign to tackle marine litter at source by raising awareness, gathering evidence and inspiring action across Tayside. It looks to change behaviour and prevent marine litter at source. Focused on the entire length of the River Tay and its tributaries, the campaign will raise awareness, gather evidence and inspire action. Connecting communities, individuals, schools, and the private and public sectors, everyone has a part to play in keeping the Tay clean and protecting our seas. Launched in response to the huge public and political concern around marine litter, the campaign will bring the issue upstream to the communities who have the power to make a difference. With 80% of litter in the sea starting life on land, the campaign will help people to understand how litter gets into the marine environment in the first place and how they can prevent it from getting there in future.

To get involved, and to read more about how your organisation could become an Anchor Group then go to the Keep Scotland Beautiful website.


RYA Club Census 2021

Thank you very much to everyone who has already returned their Annual Census. We are currently trying to hoover up the final stragglers so please get in touch if you think you are still outstanding!


Dates for information – 2021 & 2022

People, Places & Communities – A Healthy Future = Sunday 24th October (online)

Affiliated Club Conference – Part 1 = online – Monday 8th November 2020 at 7pm

Affiliated Club Conference – Part 2 in Scotland – Sunday 6th March 2021 (venue to be confirmed)


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.

Take care and stay safe!


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