The Awards were presented by HRH The Princess Royal, President of the RYA, in recognition of boating’s most dedicated volunteers.   At the ceremony, held at One Great George Street, Westminster, London, Mark received his RYA Outstanding Contribution Award in recognition of his commitment to Warsash Sailing Club.     

Mark started organising youth sailing sessions at Warsash Sailing Club in 2009, increasing the number of participants. He secured club funding for new boats matching youngsters to boats to ensure all the sailors had fun whilst the older sailors also received top coaching. He persuaded parents to gain RYA instructor certification and sits on the Club’s Sailing Committee.  He is an active dinghy sailor and his drive and vision over the years have built an exceptional youth section of 150 active sailors.  

“It was a great honour to receive this award from HRH The Princess Royal,” reported Mark.  “I thoroughly enjoyed the day.  The venue was wonderful and I met some truly inspiring people.”  

RYA Director of Sport Development Alistair Dickson commented: “The RYA Volunteer Awards, sometimes known as the MBEs of our sport, recognise the outstanding contributions made by volunteers nationwide.  He adds “Today has been a fantastic opportunity to say thank you to the people that go above and beyond, giving that little bit extra to ensure others can enjoy the sport we all love.  Volunteers really are the lifeblood of boating and it’s an honour to reward their efforts and give something back.”  

Watch a video of the event. 

Nominations are now invited for the 2019 RYA Volunteer Awards.