RYA Cymru Wales blog – May 2024

​Catch up with the latest funding opportunities with your Club Development Officer for Wales, Hester Walker...
15 May 24

Lots of dinghies on the lake with clubhouse and hill backdrop at Llandegfedd Sailing Club.

As the season gets into full swing, now is a great time to have a think about the activities at your club and how you might want to develop or expand them for the future.

Does your club have ambitions but need funding? Do you want to make your club more community based? What are you offering your existing and future members?

Sport Wales is again inviting expressions of interest for its Be Active Wales Fund with an emphasis on promoting equality, sustainability and innovation to increase access and grow participation in physical activity.

Applications now require you to be specific about who’s involved and the people you are investing in to deliver activities. It’s also critical to ensure projects encompass equality, sustainability, innovation and a sense of community.

Together on our Waters

A useful starting point for clubs is to take a look at the new RYA Cymru Wales five-year strategy – Together on our Waters – which aligns with the values of Sport Wales and sets out our vision for a connected, inspired and inclusive Welsh sailing and boating community.

This sits within the context of ‘Croeso’ and our belief that people should feel safe and welcome. This is alongside a recognition that there are real or perceived barriers to participation, making it essential for us to think about how people can join in with what we do.

Whatever project you have in mind to enhance your activities, it’s well worth ensuring your ideas are linked in a meaningful way with Together on our Waters and its values - Adventurous & Brave; Inclusive & Safe; Relevant & Connected – and the strategic aim of encouraging people to get on the water, stay on the water and give back.

Engagement guide

I’d also recommend that clubs take a look at  the RYA Community Engagement Guide: A Toolkit for Inclusivity which has lots of useful information and resources for embedding equality, diversity and inclusion into your club or centre and all of your activities.

I’m so proud of our fantastic clubs and centres in Wales, many of whom are already working hard to make real and tangible changes, which make a massive difference in empowering their existing and future members and their local communities.

At RYA Cymru Wales we’d encourage all clubs to step out of their comfort zone and experiment with new ideas for engagement and with multi activities if they haven’t already done so.

I’m confident that there will be something every club can offer to inspire people to experience what we all enjoy about being on the water. Have a think!

A Place for Sport

While funding for ideas to improve ‘on-field’ participation at your club are covered by the Be Active Wales Fund, for ‘off-field’ improvements you might want to take a look at the Sport Wales crowdfunder offer, A Place for Sport.

This offers your club a really wonderful opportunity to engage with your community to raise money toward a particular goal, with Sport Wales will pledging to fund up to 50% towards it.

‘Off-field’ improvements might include, for example, changing rooms, clubhouse renovations, improved kitchen facilities, bike racks and storage, or better disability access.

Find out more about A Place for Sport.

Funding chats

If you’d like to find out more about funding and the latest insights for how to submit a successful application for support, join me for a conversation online.

I’m hosting two informal funding chats on Teams on Wednesday 5 June from 12–1pm or 7-8pm.

Join me for these meetings here.

I’m also happy to speak with clubs individually so if you have any questions or an idea for a grant application, please feel free to get in touch with me.

We’d love to hear from you and we’re always happy to help!