A volunteer development programme has been launched by RYA North East and the Martin Boatman Legacy Fund to support club, instructor and race coach skills in the region.
The joint initiative by the RYA North East Regional Volunteer Team (RVT) and the RYA’s coaching development team will make grants of up to £250 available to support clubs, classes and individuals within the region who want to access training with the aim of increasing participation.
Jamie Kerslake, a member of the RYA North East Regional Volunteer Team, said: “As a sport we rely heavily on our volunteers, particularly at the grassroots level, so our aim with this new fund is to support people into training opportunities to develop our skills base in the region.”
The RYA North East Volunteer Development and Martin Boatman Legacy Fund will be looking to support volunteer development across all aspects of boating in the region, including racing, cruising, women’s groups, Sailability, OnBoard and windsurfing.
Grants will be available for volunteers wanting to take RYA Dinghy, Windsurfing and Powerboat Instructor, Senior Instructor or Race Coach Level 2 and 3 qualifications, and for those wanting to develop their skills across other areas of participation, racing or club management, including courses for Mark Laying and Umpiring, First Aid, Disability Awareness and Marketing.
In addition the Martin Boatman Legacy Fund, managed by RYA Coaching Development, is open to individual sailors, coaches, clubs and class associations in the RYA North East region and will be particularly looking out for applications from young people aged under 30 who want to become race coaches or develop their expertise through Continuous Professional Development.
Martin Boatman was a talented, charismatic and much-loved coach who sadly died aged 34 from cancer in early 2019. His own sailing ranged from Sonatas to Musto Skiffs and foiling AC45s but he was best known across the North East and beyond for his world class coaching of the next generation, supporting upcoming Topper and ILCA sailors to regional, national and international success and becoming one of the British Sailing Team’s most respected coaches.
David Mellor, RYA Coaching Development Manager, said: “The Martin Boatman Legacy Fund aims to provide a springboard for young sailors in the RYA North East region to start and develop their own journey in coaching. Martin was an inspiration for many young sailors, passionate about the North East region and a fantastic coach developer. With the fund created in his memory we hope to encourage many more young sailors in his home region to gain coaching skills and develop a legacy that Martin would have been proud to put his name to.”
Applications to RYA North East Volunteer Development and Martin Boatman Legacy Fund will be assessed regularly by the RVT to enable volunteers to access training in a timely manner.
Charles Glover, Interim Chair of the Regional Volunteer Team, added: “It’s fantastic that we can help support grassroots volunteers and their clubs by helping to fund opportunities to increase participation. I would encourage anyone who needs support as a club, class or individual to obtain training or qualifications to consider applying to this new bursary scheme for assistance.”