RYA awards for Maidenhead's unsung heroes

Volunteer efforts and commitment recognised
25 Jun 21

Three sailors and volunteers have been presented with two of the RYA’s most prestigious awards in recognition of their commitment to Maidenhead Sailing Club (MSC). Julie and Jeff Maidment from Maidenhead received a joint Lifetime Commitment Award, and Malcolm Brown from Woodley, Reading received an Outstanding Contribution Award.

The RYA Volunteer Awards recognise and say ‘thank you’ to volunteers who have made an outstanding contribution to the sport, and are normally presented by HRH The Princess Royal, President of the RYA at an awards ceremony in London. However due to the ongoing pandemic the worthy recipients were introduced by MSC Commodore James Gladwyn and presented by Steve Smith, RYA London & South-East Area Representative at a small ceremony at MSC.

In nominating Julie and Jeff, MSC said of them: “Julie and Jeff have been highly involved in all aspects of Maidenhead Sailing Club for 30 years with the attitude that to get something out of the club you need to put something in. Both have been Commodores as well as holding various committee positions. While Commodore, Julie made a huge success of the difficult task of bringing two clubs together when Taplow Sailing Club had been given notice at their existing premises.

“As Club Secretary she dealt quietly and efficiently with many aspects of club operations and lent her organisational skills to the running of events. Jeff has run some extremely successful working parties (after which Julie organises lunch for all the volunteers). Very practical, he has helped with sorting out the club car park, launching area, new pontoons, new changing rooms, and many other jobs including laying in a new sewer and building and fitting out a new disabled changing room. Nothing is ever too much for Julie and Jeff who always put the club first.”

Julie and Jeff said of their award: “It’s an honour to receive such a prestigious award. We have been committed to supporting MSC since we joined in 1990 and are very lucky to have been selected out of the many volunteers who keep our sport active and inclusive. We are a pair of serial volunteers, be it at the sailing club or other organisations, who feel you need to “put in more than you get out”, be it the task of merging two sailing clubs or sorting out the drains.

“We’re not unique, there are many volunteers out there, all working hard … so here’s a toast to you all. Let’s inspire the next generation with these awards.”

In nominating Malcolm MSC said: “Malcolm has been an active member of Maidenhead Sailing Club since 2010 and before then at Taplow Lake Sailing Club. He maintains all the club’s powerboats, working tirelessly to ensure engines are serviced regularly, issues resolved quickly and that there is always fuel available for when the boats are needed. He never lets a technical problem defeat him.

“When not working on boat engines he also ensures that the club mowers and strimmers are in good working order, as well as accurately measuring the lake level and mapping the contours of the lake to help identify shallow areas. Along with his passion for sailing and engines, he is very sociable and welcoming and will gladly put new members at ease, helping with rigging boats and answering any questions.

“Malcolm’s work is quietly done in the background with meticulous attention to repairs and maintenance. The hours and effort that he commits to the club are vital and invaluable to enable training, keeping members racing and allowing all to safely enjoy the lake.”

Sarah Treseder, RYA Chief Executive added: “In 2020 more than ever before we saw our club volunteers come together and work tirelessly to ensure members can continue to sail. The generosity and dedication of each of the RYA Volunteer Award recipients is simply outstanding and it’s a pleasure to be able to recognise these winners”.

Find out more about the RYA Volunteer Awards and Maidenhead Sailing Club.