RYA Midlands invites clubs to AGM

Nominations open for Regional Volunteer Team roles
07 Feb 23
Group picture of RYA Midlands regional team at Whitemoor Lakes near Lichfield.

The Annual General Meeting of RYA Midlands will be held virtually on Monday 27 March 2023 with representatives of affiliated clubs and centres in the region invited to attend.

The AGM will be followed by the usual monthly meeting of the RYA Midlands Regional Volunteer Team (RVT) and attendees are welcome to remain online for this meeting as well.

Steven Tinsley, having served as Chair of the Midlands RVT for six years, will be standing down from this position at this AGM. Clubs are invited to provide nominations for this and other roles on the team by Monday 27 February 2023.

Steven said: “We hope that as many clubs in the region as possible will be able to attend this virtual meeting and we look forward to receiving your nominations for the Regional Volunteer Team. Come and take a look at the AGM and listen and if you think you can add value, put your hand up and join us. The positions are voluntary and you can bring your own expertise and enthusiasms along with whatever time you can spare.”


RVT members have a a breadth and variety of experience, bringing insights and knowledge to the team from their working lives or serving on their own club committees.

With over 30 years of volunteering at his home club, Glossop SC – including as a dinghy instructor, flag officer and commodore, and in his current role as club president - Steven joined the regional team following a career managing IT projects and change programmes in industry. Two years ago, he also became chair of the RYA English Regions Forum.

“The driver for getting involved with sailing club management and then the regional team was that I wanted to give back what I’ve taken from the sport,” explains Steven, who is looking forward to continuing as an RVT member after his tenure as chair ends.

“Like many people who volunteer I get a lot out of the sport and enjoy the camaraderie and fun, so it’s good to feel you are also contributing. I like being active in the region and I’ve found it rewarding. It's given me a buzz to give back and feel I’m adding value.”

RYA Midlands RVT member Steven Tinsley


The RVT works alongside RYA employees in the Midlands - led by Regional Development Officer Ben Hodgson – providing support on both strategic and operational matters and a feedback loop for clubs and centres.

The team supports initiatives to get more people on the water, more often, helping to raise awareness about the sport, share best practice and provide a point of contact for clubs.

During Steven’s time in office the team has supported clubs with challenges such as membership churn, lease negotiations and accessing funding. Steven has also promoted the RYA at clubs around the region and at high footfall events, the last one being before Covid at the Notts County Show alongside three local sailing clubs.

He recalls: “We were excited to be engaging people with the idea of taking part in boating in a local way and raising awareness that sailing does not have to be an expensive sport, and it has been really good to be involved in those conversations."

Most recently, Steven has been part of a working group after United Utilities gave notice it wanted to suspend paddleboarding on its reservoirs, which has seen risk assessments and trials on four of those affected to see how SUP activity and safety might be supported.

Over his six years in office, the role of the RVT and its members has gradually evolved alongside the development of the RYA staff team in the region and the organisation as a whole. “It is good to work inside a professional organisation like the RYA,” says Steven. “I’ve been in IT most of my working life and ran huge teams, and the ability to communicate is taken for granted in my industry. That ability to communicate with people, the RYA is now in that space.”

Join us!

The team is always keen to welcome new members, who may have specific skill sets such as marketing or accessing funding streams, or wish to represent a particular interest such as motor cruising, canal boating, sustainability or inclusion.

The RVT comprises a Chair, Deputy Chair, Secretary and Treasurer, and up to 10 standing members, with affiliated clubs invited to nominate a maximum of two candidates for election.

The RYA Midlands AGM on Monday 27 March 2023 will take place in the evening starting at 19:30 and the agenda includes a review of the ‘sailing health’ of the Midlands region by chair Steven Tinsley, outlook and plans for 2023-24 and the financial budget.

While some of the RVT’s work was stalled for two years due to the Covid pandemic, as Steven sums up: “We’re definitely back on track now.”

Find out more about how to register your interest to attend this year’s AGM and/or nominate a member of the Regional Volunteer Team.

AGM Agenda

RYA Midlands AGM - 19.30, Monday 27 March 2023

  1. Welcome and apologies
  2. Voting/confirmation of appointments to the RYA Midlands Regional Volunteer Team
  3. Review of Midlands Region ‘sailing health’ – Steven Tinsley
  4. Outlook for plans during 2023/24
  5. Financial Budget
  6. Any other business


A link to access the meeting will be issued to confirmed attendees prior to the meeting using Microsoft Teams.