In an effort to recognise some of the people making a difference within the boating community, we’re kicking off 2024 with some more Impact Awards, highlighting the invaluable work of deserving individuals and groups up and down the country.
Today, it’s Graeme Galbraith of Royal Gourock Yacht Club (RGYC) taking the spotlight - watch his story on our YouTube now.
Nominated for his involvement in the RGYC Cadet programme, Graeme is commended by his fellow club members for transforming club provision, and bringing needed leadership to the table throughout his time as Cadet Convener.
After putting himself forward for the Cadet Convener role back in 2019, Graeme quickly built up a team of older cadets to help deliver weekly activities including water sessions, theory during winter, and coached racing – not to mention the annual Cadet Regatta.
Testament to the hard work to get things to where they are today, the Cadet Programme is now consistently oversubscribed with over 45 participants – more than doubling previous numbers.
Taking over the role just before COVID hit, Graeme says the journey wasn’t easy to navigate:
“Really from early 2021 we started to look at getting the kids afloat again, which was a bit tricky considering quite a lot of people had moved away during the COVID period, getting them back was always going to be difficult.
“So, rather than the programme that’s existed at Royal Gourock for probably decades now, we decided we would mix it up a wee bit with more activities on offer rather than just the sailing.
“I think certainly the kids are a more active part of the club now.”
With an eye for detail, Graeme made sure the Executive Committee are equipped to deal with various child protection aspects of the programme, and that policies, training, and nominated individuals to lead on different matters are identified.
Eager to ensure continuity, Graeme also dedicated himself to training up other adult club members to step into the role, with Incoming Cadet Conveners George McKee and Catherine Murray spending time shadowing and learning from Graeme before taking over the position. George said:
"We've seen he's made a massive difference in the kids. All of them, every single one of them adores the guy. Whatever his formula is, it works - they've got a lot of respect for him."
Also commending Graeme on his impact, Royal Gourock’s Watersport Secretary Colin MacDonald said:
“Graeme inherited a group of approximately 20 cadets, and we’re now actually at our maximum, and we have been for the last two years.
“Probably the key to it was getting the senior cadets, the people who have been through the programme, getting them involved.
“Graeme was very inspirational in getting 5 or 6 young leaders involved and having them lead the Cadets.”
With the growth of the Cadet Programme hailed as nothing short of transformative, Graeme has certainly put a smile on plenty faces around the club.
If you’ve been impressed by his work, check out some of our other impact awards for even more inspirational stories.