RYA Board Member Vernon Harten-Ash kicked off the conference with a market segmentation activity which got the audience on their feet. He learned more about the attendees and adapted his talk to suit them, as well as linking in with the theme of the day. He also spoke about the Prince’s Trust and Department of the Environment.

Richard, Lisa and Howard then gave attendees insights into RYANI’s current priorities and challenges, as well as looking to the future. There was discussion around the results of the membership census and Howard spoke about national and local issues which could affect boating. He offered advice to members on ‘hot topics’ such as Brexit, Red Diesel, Alcohol and Boating, PE and inland waterways funding.

The attendees then had to work for their coffee and scones by the ‘ever demanding’ staff member Lisa who asked them to discuss what clubs could do for the future of boating.

Clubs then returned to an engaging and exciting workshop from Tony Bishop of Queen Mary Sailing. The discussion was around ‘Select Membership’ and how clubs only need to start off small and work their way towards the success of a ‘Select Membership’. 

Lunch (kindly sponsored by RYA Membership) provided great networking opportunities for clubs and staff members and afterwards engaging workshops were lined up, giving attendees the choice of sessions on retaining juniors, environmentally sustainable clubs, developing instructors and coaches and RYA racing services.

Speaking about the conference, RYANI’s Active Clubs Co-Ordinator, Lisa McCaffrey, said: “The best thing about the club conference for me is the relationship building between clubs and between clubs and RYANI Staff.  We hope that the attendees leave with lots of new and valuable information to take back to their clubs. Initial feedback has been positive and I would like to thank all speakers, Donaghadee Sailing Club for hosting. I would also like to thank all of the club representatives who took time out of their weekend to attend our club conference.”

If you missed the conference, and/or would like to attend more of the workshops contact Lisa to arrange this by email lisa.mccaffrey@rya.org.uk

Please find the links to the presentations below:  

Queen Mary Sailing Presentation.pdf

RYA Cruising Legal & Government Affairs.pdf

Retaining junior sailors in your club.pdf

Developing your coaches and instructors.pdf

PAthway Club Presentation 1st dec.pdf

RYA Affliate Workshop - Running sustainable clubs and events.pdf