There is no doubt this is a challenging period for everyone involved in clubs, marinas, class associations or training centres, in any capacity. Our hope and aim is to do our best to make sure everyone is in the best possible shape to resume when the time comes, while following the latest Government advice fully in the meantime.
The RYA Cymru Wales team are working remotely, in line with that advice, but we are still communicating regularly and holding virtual team meetings to try and work out how we can best support the boating community.
For anyone who wants information or guidance, RYA Cymru Wales contact details are here. We along with the rest of the RYA family (RYA, RYA Scotland & RYA Northern Ireland) will be taking a break over Easter (4 to 19 April). We will return to the office on Monday, 20 April to ensure that when we are free to go out on the water again, we will be fully prepared to support the activities throughout Wales.
There are an increasing number of opportunities out there to help out in your local communities during this period when it is not possible to get out on the water. For anyone looking for voluntary opportunities (to help the NHS for example) these are being co-ordinated by Volunteering Wales and with that in mind please stay safe. We are pleased to see the Government support for those employed within boating and also those self-employed who earn their living through such activities as instructing and coaching. Further details be found here.
There are Government grants available to help clubs, for example sports clubs are among the groups that can claim full rates relief, where applicable. Sport Wales in partnership with Welsh Government has announced their Emergency Relief fund. This funding will be targeted at clubs who are already facing significant challenges after a difficult few weeks and who are likely to need immediate financial support over the next 12 weeks if they are to remain an important part of their communities in the future. Further details can be found here and applications/ questions and queries need to go direct by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Further advice for clubs, classes and training centres, as well as recreational boating in the UK and abroad, can be found on the RYA website. So while these are difficult times, we know the boating community will support each other as best we can.
We want to emerge from this as strongly as possible. That is why the RYA is encouraging all boaters to continue supporting their local boating networks and to think twice before cancelling direct debits and other payments where possible. We want to do the best we can to ensure that boating networks will still be there when we are able to get back out onto the water and into our clubhouses.
We look forward to seeing as much as we can of the Welsh boating community once we all re-emerge from this once-in-a-lifetime crisis.
Keep safe, keep well and keep smiling.
Chief Executive Officer RYA Cymru Wales