Kate, who has extensive sailing experience – both personally and professionally – has started employment and will take over from Lisa at the end of the month.
Speaking about her appointment, Kate says: “I am delighted to be taking up the post of Active Clubs Co-Ordinator while Lisa is on maternity leave. I was motivated to apply as it is a great opportunity to work with clubs and centres in NI to support their development and bring additional opportunities to their waters.
“My hope for the new role is to be able to support the work that Lisa has been doing as best I can.”
Kate has been sailing since the age of 11 when she got her first topper. She says: “I started sailing when I was 11 and was involved in club activities and progressed into an RS200 when I was 15. I focused more of my time on coaching throughout the years, as this is something that I find extremely rewarding.
“After three years away at University, I came back home and began taking my coaching to the next level by taking on the chief instructor role at Ballyholme Yacht Club in 2019.
“I wanted more responsibility and I wanted to encourage other young coaches to progress their skills and look further into their coach development.”
She adds: “Now that I am back home, I am looking forward to getting back involved in some yacht racing and coaching at Ballyholme.”
Kate also has a wealth of professional experience within the sport. She explains: “After my time at Ballyholme, towards the end of 2019 I was offered a role with RYA Scotland to work as their Performance Sailing Officer. As the Performance Sailing Officer at RYA Scotland my role was to create and deliver the winter Academy Programme across Scotland for Junior and Youth Pathway Classes.
“These Classes consist of the following; Optimist, Topper, ILCA, Techno, 29er and 420. The Programme is delivered to consistently develop the most skilled sailors into the British Sailing Team and provide world class coaching to Scottish sailors. The aim is to support sailors of all abilities, no matter what age or stage they are at in their sailing journey. The Academy Programme coaches are coordinated across Scotland to deliver open class training and support the sailors training in new locations. With the regional model for the Programme I have worked with over 19 Clubs and Centres to support the delivery of activity running in their region and bring new opportunities to their water."
Commenting on the next year, Kate says: “I hope that I will be able to support clubs and volunteers as much as possible across the next year, to build confidence and establish strong working relationships to accomplish club goals together.”
Greg Yarnall, Chief Operating Officer for RYA Northern Ireland, says: “On behalf of RYA NI, I would also like to wish Lisa the best of luck as she heads off on maternity leave towards the end of November.
“We are delighted to have Kate on board and look forward to working with her over the next year.”