RYA Midlands blog – August 2023

Ben's Buzz! Catch up with all the latest news for clubs and centres in the Midlands with Regional Development Officer Ben Hodgson...
10 Aug 23

View from the shore at Draycote Water SC with junior boats on the water for the NSSA National Youth Regatta and people on shore with a couple of boats waiting to launch.

Like many of you I’ve been having some time away on a summer holiday. Whatever way you’re getting afloat, if you’re on or by the water, I’d urge you to enjoy being away but also be nosy! It’s often the case that you can spot good ideas at other sailing and boating venues to bring back to your own space, so keep your finger on the pulse by taking the opportunity to chat to people or visit a club or centre whilst away.

For those of you not away, I know a lot of clubs and Training Centres will be flat out delivering training courses and sessions, junior activities and family weeks. Hopefully everyone will be succeeding in keeping their energy levels up and will also have survived with a sense of humour the strong winds and downpours along the way.

One upshot of the challenging weather at home is that every cloud has a silver lining and water levels are now up across the region with all our reservoirs and lakes filled to the brim!

Membership Census

A big thank you to those who have submitted their return for our annual RYA Club Membership Census – two thirds of clubs in the region have sent in their data so far, and we’re now ringing round to catch up with those still outstanding.

Please do get in touch if you need any support as the census really does help us to understand what’s going on in the region and where there may be gaps or opportunities.

We use the census extensively when putting together projects and looking at how best to support clubs in the region so the data is crucial for enabling us to focus our team efforts on the best possible ways to support you.

We’ll be sharing the headlines at our annual regional conference and clubs taking part also receive their own bespoke report from the findings which are useful for spotlighting all the good work going on and supporting your development plans.

Regional conference

Our annual regional conference will be taking place on Sunday 19 November 2023 at Brockington College, Leicestershire. It will be bigger and better than ever this year with a focus not only on club development but also activities such as training, racing and Sailability.

As ever you will want to be in the room because it will be an important opportunity to connect with both the RYA Midlands team and tap into a wealth of expertise from head office. Look out for further details in due course but in the meantime please save the date!

Female powerboat instructors

It’s been really great to be involved with our RYA Midlands Aspiring Female Powerboat Instructors project. With the first half a dozen participants now qualifying it feels like we’ve achieved a key milestone for the project. You can find out how our female powerboat instructors are gearing up to support clubs in the region in our special report.

The programme is now ongoing to support those still working towards their RYA Powerboat Instructor qualification and also the next wave of participants. Anyone who would like to take part is welcome to contact me so we can help them develop their skills afloat with us and with mentoring from one of our newly qualified instructors.

Seven women sat on two RIBs with one leading a session as part of the RYA Midlands Aspiring Female Powerboat Instructor programme.

Enter our photo competition!

Following our Photo February competitions in 2021 and 2022, we are running a 2023 summer and autumn edition for clubs and centres to celebrate activities taking place over a couple of sunnier seasons than our traditional slot at the end of winter!

We’ll be running our latest RYA Midlands Photography Competition throughout August, September and October, with a mini prize for each month and an overall winner to be announced at our regional conference in November.

Read all about it and share your pictures with us - it’s a great opportunity to get your club or centre in the spotlight on our digital channels including @RYAMidlands on Facebook and Twitter and you could win a prize!

And finally…

The RYA is seeking to appoint a new board member at its AGM in November, could it be you? Find out more about this non-executive director role and apply by midday 6 September 2023 at RYA Board.

Until next time,