West Wiltshire Youth Sailing Association is RYA Club of the Year 2024 finalist

South-west club is one of 14 finalists
01 Feb 24
One youngster windsurfing, another kayaking and two more on the shore with a windsurf board, with the lake and the clubhouse in the background.

West Wiltshire Youth Sailing Association (WWYSA) has been announced as one of 14 finalists in the RYA Club of the Year Awards, which recognise and celebrate the exceptional efforts and dedication of RYA Affiliated Clubs across the United Kingdom over the past 12-24 months. It has been shortlisted in the Green Club of the Year category.

WWYSA is based at a lake in Station Road, Westbury, Wiltshire. It underwent a transition period post-Covid, focusing on stabilising and rebuilding the club following the opening of its new clubhouse. Its new committee prioritised sustainability and its benefits for the next generation, and also invested in improved electric outboard motors. 

The Association suffered a fire on its old site in 2014 almost losing everything other than the brilliant volunteers who continued to support the club. With the help of its sponsors, The Mercers' Company, Foyle Foundation, National Lottery, Sport for England, Linden Homes, Wiltshire Community Foundation and Westbury Council, it has been possible to resurrect the club from the ashes and start up again. Following a move to a new site on the opposite side of the lake as part of the development of new homes, WWYSA has been able to rebuild and strengthen the membership and now has a healthy waiting list.

The club has rebuilt its junior membership, encouraging eco-friendly practices, and works to embed a culture of sustainability awareness to help minimise the impact on the lake and its surrounding shores. This has developed a family atmosphere and ensures long-term success, with 10% of young members aiming for RYA Dinghy Instructor assessments. It carries out boat maintenance in-house and engages members in community-oriented activities.

David Long, Principal of WWYSA, commented: I am so pleased we have been listed as finalists for the Green Club of the Year award. This is a well-deserved testament to all the work put in by everyone associated with the club, whether they are committee, volunteers or our youth membership.  We have some tough competition this year, but we are hoping to bring home the trophy although being nominated is a win in itself.”

For this year’s awards, the four categories are:

  • Community Club of the Year
  • Green Club of the Year
  • Active Club of the Year
  • Young Person's Club of the Year

Read more about all of the Club of the Year 2024 finalists.

The winners in each category and overall Club of the Year 2024 winner will be unveiled at the RYA Dinghy and Watersports Show on the 24 February. Get your tickets now!