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RYA seeks approval of new Articles of Association

Changes proposed to ensure Sports Governance Code compliance

Since the RYA Board was formed in 2011 the sporting landscape has changed dramatically. All organisations seeking public funding for sport and physical activity must now meet new gold standards of governance, considered to be among the most advanced in the world.

The new Code for Sports Governance sets out the levels of transparency, accountability and financial integrity that are required from those who ask for Government and National Lottery funding. It seeks to ensure high governance standards because of the significant public investment being made.

Special resolution

To meet the requirements of the Code, an extensive review by the RYA Board and Council has resulted in a number of proposed constitutional changes and a special resolution on the agenda of the AGM (24 November 2017) which seeks the Members' approval of new Articles of Association. These changes are consistent with what is happening in other funded sports' governing bodies in the UK.

RYA Council has already approved the Articles and has also approved a revised set of Board Regulations, which sets out in detail how the Board will operate and how directors will be recruited and appointed. The revised Board Regulations will become operational if and when the proposed new Articles of Association are approved by the Members.

In addition to the changes to the way directors of the Board are recruited and appointed, the requirement to consult with members and stakeholders will be enshrined in the Articles. The RYA already engages with members and stakeholders on multiple levels: nationally, regionally, by boating discipline, and by expertise. The intention is to build on this to create a first class engagement strategy.

What will change?

Essentially the role of the RYA Council will change and Council will no longer appoint directors. The role of the Board as the ultimate decision making body will be clarified.

Following the changes and a transition period the Board will ordinarily comprise 9 directors:

  • Three “Nominated Directors” will be appointed by the Members
  • Three “Independent Directors” will be appointed by the Board
  • The Chairman will be appointed by the Board
  • The CEO will be a director by virtue of his/her office
  • The Finance Director will be a director by virtue of his/her office

The Board has taken the opportunity to update the provisions relating to the number of members required to convene a general meeting and to simplify the voting process so that each individual Member will have one vote and each organisation Member will have one vote per £100 of affiliation fee.

Engaging with members  

Jeanette Hopkins, RYA Director of External Affairs, explains: “One of the significant drivers for the proposed changes is the need to comply with the Sports Governance Code. Funding from UK Sport and Sport England contributes considerably to our performance pathways as well as our Sailability programmes and a large part of our vital sport development activity.

“For many years we have been embracing good corporate governance with open recruitment for Directors, based on competency, and our Association already meets the majority of the Code. The new Articles will see minor adjustments to our governance, in line with the direction we were already committed to.

“At the same time these changes provide the impetus and motivation to improve upon our existing members and stake holder engagement strategy and thereby increase our relevance and value to members, affiliates and stakeholders.

“The RYA continues to recognise the very large contribution made by Members on a voluntary basis to the Association. This will not change. We will remain a membership organisation that strives to maintain and promote safe and responsible recreational boating.”

Membership matters

It is important that members of the RYA and its affiliated clubs read and understand the documents governing this membership.

Download the Articles that set out the governance arrangements for the RYA under the Companies Act.

Download the Membership Regulations that set out how the Association treats matters affecting membership of the company.

2017 AGM Agenda


Her Majesty The Queen


HRH The Princess Royal, KG, KT, GCVO, QSO

Notice is hereby given that the annual general meeting of the Royal Yachting Association will be held on 24 November 2017 at 11:00 at One Great George Street, Westminster, London SW1P 3AA.

  1. To approve the Minutes of the Annual General Meeting of 18 November 2016 (circulated with the Spring 2017 issue of RYA Magazine).
  2. To receive the Report of the Board of Directors and Accounts for the year ended 31st March 2017 (together with the report of the Independent Auditor).
  3. To elect the President for the ensuing year: HRH The Princess Royal, the retiring President, is eligible for re-election and has signified her willingness to continue to serve in office.
  4. To appoint the Auditor and to delegate to the Board of Directors authority to fix the remuneration of the Auditor.
  5. Special Business to consider and, if thought fit, to pass the following Special Resolution: That the Company’s Articles of Association be altered so as to take the form of the Articles of Association attached to this resolution and prefaced by an explanatory document signed by the Chairman, in substitution for, and to the exclusion of, any Articles of Association previously registered with the Registrar of Companies.
  6. To announce the names of members elected to the Board: The names of the successful candidates elected by the RYA Council will be announced at the meeting.
  7. The meeting to note that there will be a ceremony later in the day to present the following awards: RYA Awards for distinguished services to boating, RYA Community Awards, RYA Family Award for collective services to boating, and RYA Sailability Francis Elkin Award for services to sailing for the disabled
  8. Any other business
    Any matters raised under Agenda Item 8 cannot form part of the official business of the meeting and thus may not be proposed as formal motions. This item is included purely to afford members an opportunity for informal discussion.

Note to all members attending the AGM

Please bring your voting paper to the AGM. If you appoint a proxy to attend in your place they must bring the voting paper. Clubs and classes will have received their voting paper with this Annual Report & Accounts. Personal and Life members will have received this in the Strategic Report included in the autumn issue of RYA Magazine. The voting paper forms part of the Strategic Report.

Please allow sufficient time to enable staff to verify your identity and your right to attend the meeting. Attendees should also bring proof of ID (passport/driving licence with photo) and a valid RYA membership card (or proxy card in the case of an appointed representative); failure to do so could result in delayed entry. Please note that bag searches may be conducted by security staff.

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