Chelmarsh SC celebrates second Club of the Year title bid

Midlands sailors, paddleboarders and open water swimmers invited to vote for volunteer-led club at the heart of its community
10 Nov 21
Chelmarsh SC has diversified to offer paddleboarding, sailing and swimming, pictured in a collage.

Chelmarsh Sailing Club is in the Midlands is celebrating after being shortlisted for the second year running in the RYA and Yachts & Yachting Club of the Year Awards 2022 supported by Gallagher. 

The volunteer-run club near Bridgnorth in Shropshire is one of 10 regional finalists selected by the RYA Awards Panel, with public voting to help decide the overall winner now open.

The awards celebrate the outstanding achievement and hard work of sailing clubs across the UK and Chelmarsh SC, which was also nominated for the 2021 Club of the Year Awards, has been specifically recognised this time around in the category of “Inclusive and Open to all”.

Commodore David Partridge said: “Just being in the finals is a fantastic occasion for the club and it is a great honour to be nominated again. We’ve built a great community of sailors, paddlers and swimmers who support each other and our club and many have quite literally found regular exercise and membership with us to be life changing. Please vote for Chelmarsh SC to help us go one better this year so we can win the Club of the Year title and bring the trophy home!”

After becoming a Club of the Year finalist in 2021, having diversified its activities with paddleboarding, Chelmarsh SC introduced open water swimming this year. With multiple different activities for people of all ages and from a wide range of backgrounds, the club has been able to grow its membership, invest in new equipment for training and develop its instructor team.

The club’s stand up paddleboarding (SUP) section continues to go from strength to strength and in summer ran a ‘Vitamin Sea’ pilot project for Seaful, a charity helping people to benefit from time in, on or by the water. This saw 40 inner city children learning about environmental issues and taking to the water for the first time.

Open water swimming at the club meanwhile has so far seen over 3,000km swum by 300 participants. A survey of the club’s swim members revealed not only the physical benefits but also how improved mental health and the welcoming club atmosphere had helped to counter the negative impact of the Covid pandemic.

Among those voting for the club are SUP and open water swimming organisations along with local groups. Sally Themans from Love Bridgnorth said: “What the club have done in the last year has been amazing with their stand up paddleboarding and their open water swimming. They are really embedded in the community.”

Commenting on the award nomination, Ben Hodgson, RYA Midlands Regional Development Officer, added: “A massive well done to Chelmarsh SC on being shortlisted for the second year running. The club has done a really good job in terms of diversifying what they do and it has become a real community hub of activity for sailing, paddleboarding and swimming.

“The way that the club manages the water is considerate of members’ different interests and they’ve made a real success of it which has enabled so many people to enjoy taking part in watersports. It would be great to see people in the region getting behind the club and voting to put the Midlands on the map.”

Voting will close on Monday 24 January 2022. The winner will be announced at the RYA Dinghy & Watersports Show in Spring. Find out more about Chelmarsh Sailing Club and to cast your vote, visit: RYA and Yachts & Yachting Club of the Year.