RYA North East blog - April 2023

All the latest news for clubs and centres with Regional Development Officer Sam Usher...
11 Apr 23

As many of you will know, I’ve been your RYA North East Regional Development Officer for many years, in fact for nearly a decade!

I started in post in October 2013 and it’s been an incredibly rewarding period but the time is now right for me to move on. I’ll be leaving my RDO role around the end of June to develop my own business interests. Alongside this I intend to maintain my involvement in boating.

You may well see me around as an RYA Training Centre inspector and I’ll be available to run RYA Dinghy and Powerboat Instructor courses, plus working in race coach development. I’m looking forward to getting on the water, including at my home club Filey SC.

I’ve made some fantastic friendships over the years and I’m hoping to stay connected and keep in touch. It’s been a real privilege to work with clubs and centres across the region and also to see the progression of individual journeys within the sport.

Thank you

Club membership is now at an all-time high and I’ve seen young sailors transition to become instructors and coaches and then take on pivotal roles. I’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who has supported club and centre development in the region.

Going forward, the RYA North East RDO position will be covered by RYA North West Regional Development Officer Adam McGovern in a caretaker capacity until April 2024. Adam knows the region well having been our RDO previously for a while before I came into the role. You will also of course continue to have our Sailing Development Officer Paul Adams as a key contact.

In the meantime, I will see lots of you from around the region before I leave at our RYA North East Pre-Season Bash for instructors.

Come along and join me for a farewell at North Yorkshire Water Park on Saturday 22 April, when Paul and I will be running an informal and fun day on the water as a warm-up for the new season, with a chance to try different boats or have a go at windsurfing. As a thank you I’ll even shout you a drink!

An emailed invitation has now gone out to all instructors so please check your inbox for this and encourage those at your club or centre to do the same. Book your place here and if you’d like to know more please do feel free to get in touch.

Windsurfers on the water in RYA NE region.

OnBoard days

For OnBoard instructors and volunteers we also have skills development days coming up with workshops, networking and OnBoard resources to support your sessions.

These will be taking place at South Shields Sailing Club (Windsurf & Dinghy) on Saturday 15 April and Yorkshire Dales Sailing Club (Windsurf) Sunday 16 April. Tickets for these days are £15 and we would like to invite all those involved in running, organising or leading OnBoard sessions to join us.

Share the details with your OnBoard/youth and junior sections and encourage people to book here.

Personal development

Signing up for instructor courses or opportunities can benefit not only your club or centre but also your own development, supporting personal skills such as confidence, teamwork and organisational skills which are transferable to everyday home and work life.

Other courses currently open for booking on the RYA North East Instructor & CPD hub include a Powerboat Handling & Safety Boat Skills Development Day at South Shields SC on Saturday 3 June; Power Boat Instructor Course 25-27 August with skills assessment day 22 July at Tees & Hartlepool YC; Advanced Dinghy Instructor Endorsement 27-28 May at Filey SC; and a DI/SI Instructor Skills Development Day, 12 August at Filey SC.

Instructors heading out to boats moored on a pontoon in RYA NE region.

‘Active bystander’ webinar

If you have ever wanted to challenge someone’s behaviour but didn’t know how or what to say, another opportunity currently open for booking is a webinar for RYA members and affiliates with the Active Bystander Training Company, 6pm on Sunday 23 April.

This session aims to help us create a safe and supportive environment within our sport and boating community, and includes self-coaching techniques to help you keep a cool head when faced with a challenging situation, and assertive language devices to make your voice heard if you want to raise a concern. Find out more and register.

Youth travellers

Entries are now open for the North East & Yorkshire Youth Sailing Traveller Series, which has a stellar series of inland and coastal venues lined up as it celebrates its 40th anniversary. A big thank you to the organisers and all the host venues.

The series offers fantastic youth development opportunities, enabling its participants to learn not only racing but also life skills. You can read the feedback from participants in 2022 and their parents, in our Winning Ways and Regatta Fleet round-ups from last year’s series.

Your club’s Y&J, OnBoard or cadet section can find out more and enter this year’s North East & Yorkshire Youth Traveller Series here.

Close racing between an RS Tera, Optimist and ILCA at a NE & Yorkshire Youth Traveller Series open meeting at Teesdale SWC, 2022.

Volunteer awards

Over the years there have been many dedicated volunteers who have run the youth traveller series or supported it at their clubs to give our young sailors fantastic racing and memorable experiences, with Olympian Paul Goodison among those to have been inspired along the way.

Our sport depends on the grassroots efforts of volunteers who go above and beyond for the love of helping people to enjoy getting on the water. If you know someone who goes the extra mile to support activities at your club, centre or association, the RYA Volunteer Awards are a great way for us all to show our appreciation.

Last year’s awardees included youth traveller series organiser Fiona Spence and you can read about our 2022 recipients here to find out more about the awards. The deadline for nominating this year is very soon, on Tuesday 2 May, so please do take a look at the RYA Volunteer Awards 2023 and have a think about who you would like to put forward.

As ever you can keep up to date with all the latest news by following @RYANorthEast on Facebook and/or Twitter.