Consultation on changes to the RYANI Articles of Association

Following the launch of the Navigating the Future strategic plan, we have been looking at governance structures to ensure RYA NI are set up in the best way possible to progress as a sport and organisation.
20 Jul 23
Boats taking part in a Bright Night sailing programme

This process has been started by looking at the recruitment of three new Board Directors and has followed by the refresh of the Board sub committees. As part of this process, the Board have also considered the term length for the Chair and charitable status adoption.

The Board have discussed both areas but want members and affiliated clubs to have an opportunity to hear about proposed plans and feedback any views. We are inviting anyone involved in sailing and boating in Northern Ireland to a webinar on Thursday 10th August at 7pm to hear more, as well as meeting and hearing from members of the Board with an opportunity to ask questions about any areas of the business. This will be the first of quarterly webinars we will be hosting there will be a chance to check in with Board/staff members for an update on key areas or ask any questions/advice. Please book your space here

Chair Term length consultation

The current Chair term is set for one, three-year term. The Board would like to change the Chairs term to include an option of an additional two years, which would result in a three-year term plus the option for an additional two-year term and are asking affiliated clubs to approve this change in term length. Outlined below is a summary of some of the advantages and disadvantages of doing this.

Advantages and rationale of an extended Chair term:

  • Gives the Chair a longer period to build a strong relationship with the CEO and other Board members, creating greater consistency momentum for the Board and staff team.
  • Create better alignment with Home Countries (RYA Wales = 2 X 4 years term for Chair, RYA Scotland = 2 X 2 years, RYA = 3 X 3 years.
  • Create a smoother and longer preparation time for finding and handover for a new Chair.
  • Creates an opportunity to build momentum following the launch of the new five-year strategy, Navigating the Future (or any future strategic plans).


  • More challenging if there is a poor relationship between the Chair and the rest of the Board/CEO (although the break option at 3 years partly negates this).
  • More difficult to find a Chair that is prepared to take on a longer term length (again negated slightly with potential break at 3 years).

Charity status consultation

RYA NI is currently set up as a Company Limited by Guarantee and work on a not-for-profit basis. The company has been researching whether a move to a charitable organisation would benefit in the long term. Other sporting organisations that have taken up charitable status, such as Ulster Hockey and Netball NI.

Benefits to a move to charitable status would include additional funding opportunities becoming available that could support the organisation to develop and enhance sailing and boating across Northern Ireland

The feedback from RYA and other NGB’s in NI that have charitable status is that there has not been significant additional workload identified and it is no more bureaucratic than being a Company Limited by Guarantee.

The Board have approved a motion to pursue charitable status and are asking for affiliated clubs support for a change in articles to enable us to start the process with the NI Charity Commission, which would include a change in articles.

To hear more about the two proposed changes, please join us on the 10th August at 7pm.  Book here