I hope everyone is keeping well and busy preparing for the upcoming season and putting any last-minute preparations in place for Bank Holiday activities.
It has certainly been a demanding few weeks, for myself as well as for all of the South team. We have all been out in the region: supporting volunteers with disability awareness training, providing dinghy instructors with skills to improve OnBoard sessions and developing racing skills for junior sailors and windsurfers. And of course, delivering the South Regional Training Day.
We went with a new approach this year with opening the day up to volunteers, race coaches and instructors. I believe this led to well-rounded discussions and we were able to really get to grips with how to create a strong experience for participants.
You can read more about the Day here.
We also went to a new venue, Thorney Island SC, and I’m pleased to report that the new location worked really well and the Day will be returning back here again next year on Saturday 16th March – so do please put this in your diary now.
Did you know that overnight accommodation is also included in the package? Next year everyone is welcome again to stay overnight the night before - for free - perfect if you want to catch up with colleagues beforehand.
I would like to say a huge thank you to all those involved at Thorney Island SC and for hosting, to everyone for coming along and giving up your time, and of course to all our Trainers and Instructors - all who feature in the photo above.
Have you ever been in a situation where you have wanted to challenge someone’s behaviour – but you didn’t know how or what to say? I know I have. We have an incredibly helpful webinar coming up in April which will look into how to challenge microaggressions, harmful comments and behaviours, and will include self-coaching techniques to help you keep a cool head when you’re faced with a challenging situation. The webinar, which is being run with the RYA and Bystander Training Company, is on Sunday 23 April at 6pm. Book here.
Don’t forget to visit the RYA South Training and Courses page which contains all the opportunities to train instructors and develop race coach skills. The page can be found here.
The South coast will be hosting the 2023 Formula Kite European Championships from 19 – 24 September – and I am looking for clubs and local watersports providers to get involved.
Throughout the event, children and young people will be able to learn more about this exciting new sport from a specially created Beach Classroom on Eastney beach in Portsmouth.
This is a fantastic opportunity for your venue to connect with the local community of Portsmouth, and be involved with helping youngsters learn more about the range of watersports available on their doorstep. To find out more please contact me or call 07748806733.
OnBoard is the RYA’s children’s sailing and windsurfing programme. OnBoard is all about supporting clubs with junior sailing. It can help your club link up with local schools or youth organisations, and help energise your junior membership through a variety of fantastic resources.
OnBoard venues can take advantage of instructor training on delivering good youth sessions and receive a plethora of resources to use in sessions, these include fantastic session cards plus sailing and windsurfing games and challenges.
Other benefits include access to the free Event Gazebo and Mega Sup (which can be booked through contacting South Sailing Development Polly Schafer) and the annual RYA South OnBoard Development Day. Plus advice, help and support from Polly and Hannah Cockle, RYA OnBoard Operations Officer.
A South OnBoard club recently visited a school and used an OnBoard presentation from the Development Day as part of their visit. They found it invaluable in helping show the teachers the benefits which sailing can bring to their students. I will be reporting back on their progress soon.
Tackt-Isle Adventures, on the Isle of Wight, are our latest OnBoard recognised venue in the South – I would like to give them a very warm welcome to OnBoard.
Here is an OnBoard Skill Development Day taking place at Emberton Park Sailing Club.
I know lots of clubs in the region are holding Open Days to help attract new members over the coming months. I really want to highlight that RYA Discover Sailing is specially designed to help and support you in promoting these events.
In essence, Discover Sailing is a national campaign which supports clubs by providing both physical and online resources and regional communicator support from Helen Skelton-Smith. It also allows clubs to benefit from being part of the national promotions, including the event being listed on the RYA website which RYA Marketing will then also use.
I want to be clear that Discover Sailing is a tool to help affiliated organisations open their venues to visitors - it is not an instruction that we expect venues to run this event.
By running your Open Day in association with Discover Sailing, you really will be able to take advantage of lots of valuable resources, advice and guidance to help you promote your event and make it a success - so do please consider signing up!
The deadline to order resources is the 7th of each month. Find out more here.
The 2023 Volunteer Awards nominations are open! There are five categories to choose from, all celebrating the exceptional commitment and achievements of our volunteers. You can nominate here.
The events are now only 2 months away so do please book onto the dinghy or windsurfing event soon. The Windsurfing event is on 10th - 11th June at Bristol Corinthian YC, Axbridge Reservoir. Book here. The dinghy event is the following weekend of 17th - 18th June at Oxford Sailing Club. Book here.
A shifting bank of shingle in the Solent has prompted a warning to sailors. Lymington RNLI said the bank, measuring a few hundred metres in length, emerges at low tide to the east of Hurst Spit near Lymington. It said the shingle bar continues to change size and location, and has made the water "considerably shallower". Seafarers have been told to be "extra careful" when navigating around the spit.
I will soon be out ‘on the ground’ for an extended period of time: from Friday 21 April and back in the office on Friday 12 May. So please do bear this in mind if you contact me during this period.
Until next time,