Talking to colleagues up and down the country, I am hearing that lots of clubs are busy with members getting active now that the warm weather is returning and covid measures are no longer in full force. This is, of course, also reflected in the South region and it is particularly pleasing that lots of our Sailability venues are now returning to full activity.
Open Days and Discover Sailing resources
Clubs around the country are also in full planning mode for upcoming Open Days and it’s great to see clubs in our region reaching out to local communities with open days and taster sessions to recruit new members - many of which are taking advantage of the RYA Discover Sailing resources to help plan, run and advertise these events.
If your club is planning an open day, then do have a look in Club Zone where you will find free resources including templates and top tips.
Don’t forget that applications for this round of Sport England The Together Fund funding must be submitted before 31st July 2022.
During this month is Mental Health Awareness Week, and you might have seen a recent social post on RYA South Facebook which featured Cobnor Outdoors Activity Trust. The Trust was successful in a previous round of funding and was able to offer a bespoke programme of activities to StonePillow, a charity which helps homeless and vulnerable people to achieve independence. Read more about this project here.
If like Cobnor you are a non-profit organisation, including RYA Sailability and RYA OnBoard venues, you can apply for small grants for projects which connect sailing with local communities. Find out more here.
Eric Twiname Championships
Duncan West, South and SW Regional Performance Manager, tells me that despite some challenging conditions, all the young sailors enjoyed participating in this month’s Eric Twiname Championships. I would like to add my congratulations to the winners but also a big well done to all the youngsters taking part. And of course, a big thank you to all the volunteers and parents. Fantastic to see the event take place after two years off.
Regional Junior Championships
Entries are now open for the 2022 British Youth Sailing Regional Junior Championships! Enter here.
Windsurfers are at Oxford Sailing Club over the weekend of 11th and 12th June, and dinghy sailors are at WPNSA a week later over the weekend of 18th & 19th June.
The dinghy event will once again include the OnBoard fleet. I’m looking forward to helping our younger sailors, some of whom will be experiencing their first time sailing at a new venue. It is always such a confidence boost and is really great to share this with them. We will be doing lots of fun games and activities that the children really enjoy. These are designed to help develop their sailing skills without them even realising it – a win win! Remember, we are also providing the boats for this fleet too.
The next two fleets are the Coached Regatta Fleet for those new to racing – perfect for those youngsters who attended the OnBoard Fleet last year - and the Championship Fleet for our keen junior racers. Please do let families at your club know about this upcoming festival.
Steering The Course
This festival of women’s sailing women is rapidly approaching – it takes place during the week of 20th-29th May.
The RYA will also be running a ‘takeover’ on RYA social channels highlighting women and their roles in the sport on social media. It would be great if your club gets involved too. It doesn’t need to be complicated. Simply sharing and highlighting stories on the roles women play in your club during this week, will help inspire other females to get involved. Perhaps you could feature the journey of a female committee member, or tell the story of an inspiring young competitor.
There are lots of activities which you can run to help encourage women to get involved.
Here are some ideas:
• Run a ‘women at the helm’ club race,
• Use a female race management team,
• Run a specific taster session,
• Link a celebration to your ‘women on water’ group,
• Provide opportunities for aspirant female instructors or coaches to shadow your current team.
Please do let me know if you have activity taking place or would like to join in and feature during the social media take over. Sign up here
OnBoard and John Merricks Sailing Trust
A reminder that applications for the fund close on 20 June. In case you are not familiar, this fantastic scheme benefits both sailors and clubs. At least one youngster from each RYA region will receive the exclusive use of a boat or board for two years before it is donated to the club or centre for other youngsters to benefit from.
Nominate a deserving young person who displays enthusiasm, drive, talent and commitment to the sport but doesn’t necessarily have the opportunity or financial backing to achieve their goals, from your club here.
I have a very exciting opportunity for a new Sailing Development Officer to join the South team.
This new part-time role will help grow participation and membership within our regions’ boating network, with a particular focus on Diversity and Inclusion, Junior & Youth Participation, and Instructor Development. However, the role will also be adapted to the successful candidates’ areas of experience, knowledge and expertise.
The role will be on a self-employed basis, and the contract will run until 31st March 2023, with further potential of an annual contract. Closing date for applications is 20th May 2022. More details are on the RYA Vacancies page here.
South Affiliated Clubs Conference
The theme of this year’s South Affiliated Clubs Conference is The Member Journey and workshops will focus on people at different stages of their membership, including from volunteering through to training.
The Conference will take place on Saturday 12th November at the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton. It will be great to see as many of you there as possible, so we can all come together, after what has been a challenging couple of years.
Congratulations to Royal Channel Islands Yacht Club - Guernsey upon the opening of their new Clubhouse. It was formally opened by the club’s patron, His Excellency the Lietenant-Governor, Lieutenant General Richard Cripwell, CB, CBE earlier this month, and by all accounts it was a fantastic day with lots of entertaining music.
Until next time,