RYA Midlands blog – May 2024

Ben's Buzz! Catch up with all the latest news for clubs and centres in the Midlands with Regional Manager Ben Hodgson...
15 May 24

Five picos, four Toppers and two Optibat junior dinghies lined up with sails up on shore in front of the Midland SC / Sail Birmingham clubhouse.

The weather finally feels like the season is turning towards summer! After a seemingly endless and wet winter, it has been great to see so many people out enjoying some sunshine.

For my part it’s been good to get out and about, including a couple of days in Birmingham with my RYA London & South East counterpart Steve Mitchell, sharing ideas around projects which seek to promote diversity and inclusion in the sport.

We visited the Andrew Simpson Centre at Bartley and Sail Birmingham at Midland Sailing Club (pictured top) to catch up with their teams and scope ideas, while sharing knowledge about activities in London and the South East and vice versa.

I also had a sneak preview of the new Midlands Boat Station for the Sea Cadets at Edgbaston Reservoir – it’s due to open in time for this season and looks amazing.

Exciting times for the thousands of young people from Birmingham and beyond who will benefit from this state-of-the-art facility now and in the future!

Ben in a Boat

I also have quite a few ‘Ben in a Boat’ visits lined up, starting at Barnt Green Sailing Club in a week or so, followed by a number of clubs in Northamptonshire and Leicestershire through June and into early summer.

These afternoon and evening sessions provide an opportunity for me to visit your club to spend time with your team developing skills, with upcoming topics including updates for instructors, powerboat and safety boat drivers, and supporting youth activity.

There are still opportunities to book a ‘Ben in a Boat’ visit this season but the diary is getting busy so if you’re keen, please get in touch sooner rather than later.

Find out more about Ben in a Boat.

Cruise in Company

I’m delighted to announce that booking is now open for our Cruise in Company! I am genuinely looking forward to this new event for the region.

We’ll have a flotilla of boats exploring Rutland Water using the RYA Dinghy Trail and you are invited to bring your own boat along to join in - or book a place aboard one of Rutland Sailing Club’s RS21 keelboats.

It will be great to get out with a purpose simply to enjoy a day on the water and for those of you who usually enjoy racing, it’s a chance to try something a little different.

Book now to join our Cruise in Company.

RYA Midlands bursaries

We’ve been pleased to award our first RYA Midlands Learning & Development Bursaries. Congratulations to the eight clubs in the region who will benefit from grants in 2024. We look forwarding to sharing their stories over the year.

If you didn’t apply this year or were not successful this time, the RYA Midlands Learning & Development Bursaries will be open again for applications 1 January-31 March 2025, so do take a look and start thinking now about how your club might be able to use a small grant to boost capacity and participation.

Three smiley people sailing a dinghy on a sunny day at Trimpley SC one of them with a thumbs up :)

Picture: Trimpley SC (c) Simon Yeomans

Female powerboat instructors

Our programme for aspiring female powerboat instructors is continuing, with a second group about to take the course to become qualified so they can take their skills back to their home clubs to support training and activities.

Good luck to our latest cohort! If you’ve missed this latest round of training but would like to take part, please reach out to RYA Midlands Sailing Developer Sallie Bowd who would be pleased to hear from you.

Instructor courses

A reminder that we have a number of courses and CPD sessions coming up, including:

For all instructor courses and training opportunities in the region, bookmark the RYA Events hub and tick the box in the left hand menu for the Midlands, and also perhaps for your neighbouring regions if you’re on the border.

Save the date!

After the success of the RYA Connected events last year, I am pleased to confirm that the Midlands event will be returning to Brockington College this year.

This is one of our most crucial annual events for all RYA organisations that deliver activity afloat. Please make sure someone from your organisation is able to come along to share and learn. This year’s event will be held on Sunday 17 November.

Conference room with lots of people seated and five people on stage with an RYA Connected blue screen behind.

And finally…

It’s been flying start to the season for Derbyshire Youth Sailing and the Northamptonshire Youth Series with lots of enthusiasm from clubs around the region, young participants and their parents.

Both offer fantastic one day open meetings for aspiring young racers, and include a warm welcome for those starting out or travelling for the first time. Please do share the details with the junior section at your club or centre!

Keep up with all the latest announcements and opportunities by following us on our social media channels Facebook and X and by bookmarking RYA Midlands.

Until next time,