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Changes to regional team members

As many clubs will already be aware, we are delighted to welcome two new Regional Development Officers (RDOs), Ben Hodgson and Rob Howlett, to our regional teams in the Midlands and South West.

With 10 Regional Development Officers (RDO) across the RYA regions and home countries, the RDO role is there to support RYA affiliated clubs and recognised training centres to get more people to try sailing and windsurfing, and to support regular participation.

In the South West, Tony Wood is moving into a new role in Bermuda. His successor, Rob Howlett, is well placed to provide support to clubs and centres in the region. Rob has plenty of previous experience with our RYA training schemes and programmes and is a Dinghy Coach Assessor and Centre Inspector.

Rob has some fantastic experience to bring to the role having been the Manager at Hengistbury Head Outdoor Education Centre for eight years which he took from an underused ex local authority centre making significant financial losses, to a thriving centre with a good mix of volunteers, casual and full time staff which now makes a healthy surplus each year and is well connected to its local clubs. 

Rob officially joins the RYA on the 27 August, and has a number of handover days planned with Tony to ensure a smooth transition to enable the continuation of Tony’s excellent work in the region. 

Following Gareth Brookes’ new appointment as RDO Manager, Ben Hodgson joins the Midlands team with a wealth of experience and having already worked with many clubs in the area. He is one of a handful of individuals who holds appointments as Dinghy Coach Assessor, Powerboat Trainer, Windsurf Trainer and Personal Watercraft Trainer, as well as being a very active Centre Inspector. 

Ben brings a wealth of experience having been involved with the management of a commercial Training Centre – Carsington Sport and Leisure for some 10 years as well as running his own business alongside. Ben has worked with many clubs in the Midlands when delivering instructor courses, inspections, and in his previous role as a T15 Regional Coordinator so is well known in the region.

We hope you will join us in welcoming Rob and Ben to the RYA. To find out more please visit Rob’s Round-up and Ben’s Buzz

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