Steve's blog October 2023

Here’s our monthly update from Regional Development Officer Steve Mitchell.
09 Oct 23
East London young instructor programme 23/4 739x432

Please keep up to date with news and events in our region on Facebook

There are lots of things coming up which we’d like you to be involved with, so here we go…….

Instructor demand survey

This is the last call please for RYA affiliates and recognised training centres to complete a short survey by 31 October 2023. This is to help us better understand the demand for instructor and race coach courses and how we can help to address the current shortage of instructors and racing coaches. Currently our region has the biggest number of survey returns of all the UK regions so, while this isn’t a competition, let’s keep it up! Please find out more and take the survey 

OnBoard development day

Have you booked yet for the OnBoard development day on Saturday 11 November at Queen Mary Sailing Club? Current OnBoard providers are welcome, also clubs and centres which are looking to become OnBoard providers or RYA recognised training centres. It’ll be on land and on water focusing on:

  • OnBoard session cards
  • Improving delivery of OnBoard sessions
  • Involving new schools

In the afternoon there’s the choice of RS21 keelboat sailing or powerboat training.

Read about last year’s event to see what you can look forward to.

Please contact Ben Kimble for more information or book now.

LSE OnBoard development day keelboat

Photo - RS21 sailing at last year’s OnBoard development day, credit Simon Winkley  

Watersports centres meeting

The watersports centres meeting on 14 November at the AHOY Centre, Deptford, London is aimed at watersports centre managers and chief instructors and is a chance for centres to share ideas, discuss challenges and opportunities. I’ll share regional and national trends that our centres might find valuable, and RYA Chief Instructor Liz McMasters will be our guest for the day. It’s proving popular, at the time of writing 17 centres have signed up, so don’t miss out, contact me now to book your place or for more info.

RYA Connected conference

Have you registered yet for the new RYA Connected conference in Guilford on 26 November? It’s free to attend and open to all RYA affiliated organisations including clubs, Sailability groups, class associations and race officials, as well as training centres that are based within clubs. (Sailability groups please note there won’t be a separate Sailability conference next February.)

There will be a range of forums, workshops and presentations from which you can build a bespoke programme to help your organisation with what matters most to you. Topics include:

  • Growing and developing your team of volunteers, instructors and race coaches
  • Creating an attractive offer so you can recruit and retain members
  • Building a thriving competitive sailing scene
  • Reducing your operating costs whilst also reducing your organisation’s impact on the planet

Find out more and register 

Are you looking for funding?

The Active Thames Community Sport Fund is open and offers community funding for watersports in London, Kent and Essex. The fund has already made a significant impact with awards to sailing organisations including the AHOY Centre, Sea Change Sailing Trust, Cambria Sea Scouts, Erith Yacht Club, Gravesend Sailing Club, Margate Yacht Club, Shadwell Basin Outdoor Activity Centre, Sport Works and Herne Bay Sailing Club.

Find out more and apply

Funding is also available through the RYA Foundation Youth Fund for young sailors.

Active Thames Fund 2023-4 739x432

East London young instructor training

(see header photo)

Our Sailing Development Officer Asher Robinson tells us: “The East London Instructor Program is in full swing. 20 16-19 year olds are currently being prepped for their pre-assessment. We also have newly qualified instructors from last year assisting us. This will all filter down as they look to work at new centres.”

The programme will provide career opportunities for young people from ethnically diverse communities, address a shortage of dinghy sailing instructors, and ensure that more people from these communities can recognise they have a place and opportunities and can participate and succeed in our sport.

News round-up

Here’s a round-up of our recent regional news:

Royal Thames Yacht Club wins British Keelboat League final 

RYA Match Racing Series at Queen Mary 

Another successful women's keelboating day at Queen Mary 

West Sussex Schools and Youth Sailing Association Regatta 2023 

Boat propelled by laughter wins award at Broadstairs fundraiser 

Gravesend Sailing Club Regatta 2023 

Diary of a bursary winner – or how to progress your sailing 

Women's keelboating Queen Mary group 739x432

Photo - women's keelboating day at Queen Mary

Share your stories

We’re always looking out for stories to pop on our web site and send to your local media, and snippets (two or three sentences) to promote your events or show what you’ve been doing, with photos (landscape format) and links. Or why not send us a short video (15-100 seconds, landscape format) done in one take on your ‘phone to share on our social media. All should have some RYA/regional connection. Other clubs can enjoy your achievements and benefit from your experience. Send us your story