RYA East Connected Event and 2024 Forums

The RYA (East) Connected event took place on Saturday 25 November at The Royal Hospital School, Holbrook, Suffolk. With the aim of the event being to share experiences and learn from each other, it was good to see almost 100 delegates - representing some 50 affiliated organisations across the region - on the day. It also saw many Sailability groups take part for the first time.
12 Dec 23
Take a look at RYA East Connected Forums

With a packed agenda covering a wide range of matters, from what’s coming up on the legal horizon to supporting volunteers and everything else in between, it was an opportunity to network with members from other clubs and centres, and was supported by a large number of RYA staff, volunteers and various specialists in their subjects.

Those present included Ian McCrae, Principal from Harwich Town Sailing Club, in attendance at the event for the first time, who said: “It’s been really useful, the first time I’ve been to the event and, at this time of year, you can begin to run out of ideas about how you are going to develop things ready for next season. One of the great things about this event is that you’re able to network with other clubs, get some expert advice on things, and all those niggling problems are addressed in seconds, just by talking to the people on the table.”

It was also an opportunity for clubs to learn from one another’s experiences. For example, Oonie Werngren from Colne Yacht Club spoke on a panel about her club setting up a Women on the Water group, explaining how it was first started in 2018 with eight women and an instructor and that it has grown over the last few years to be 42 women, and now also includes powerboating. She emphasised the physical and mental benefits for those involved, saying: “It’s a very encouraging, inclusive, inspiring event, where women of all ages who want to enhance their skills or are new to sailing come for a morning, and they have fun. They don’t feel pressurised, and it’s a learning environment in which they feel they can thrive.”

She also explained how activity had grown so exponentially that there were not enough boats, the group had decided to raise money for them and raised enough for a boat which is now part of the Club’s Sonata fleet. Through feeling involved in the club, members are more likely to participate in activities and have a clear pathway of development.

Robbie Bell, RYA Regional Manager for the East Region, said: “It was a great day with a fantastic turnout, seeing representatives from clubs across the region engaging with one another, and a team of RYA staff and volunteers on hand to discuss ideas, challenges and plans for the future.”

The day will be followed by a number of RYA Connected Forums taking place across the region in late January/early February 2024, the aim being an interactive evening to support your organisation with preparing for the future. We will look at how you can build an active volunteer network and understand how best to meet the needs of your current and future membership and participants. We have several sessions running throughout the region to enable you to come together with other local organisations.

Each forum will start at 7.00pm to enable people to arrive after work; although for those that are available earlier, we would like to invite you to join us from 6.00pm to allow more opportunity to chat and network. We will aim to finish by 9.15pm. Refreshments will be provided on arrival and during the evening. The majority of venues are accessible; however, if you have any specific requirements, please let us know below.

The dates and venues are as follows:

  • 30 January - Benfleet Yacht Club
  • 31 January - Blackwater Sailing Club
  • 6 February - Royal Harwich Yacht Club
  • 8 February - Grafham Water Centre
  • 13 February - Stanborough Park Activity Centre
  • 15 February - Norfolk Broads Yacht Club

For more information and booking visit here.