The governing body held an award ceremony on Friday 22
November at One Great George Street, Westminster, London, to reward
hard-working volunteers all over the UK for their outstanding contribution to
sailing and boating.
video of the awards here
David Nelson from Ballyholme Yacht Club received a Lifetime
Commitment Award, Graham Skelton from Carrickfergus Sailing Club collected an
Outstanding Contribution Award and Abbie Brown from Donaghadee Sailing Club was
given a Youth Award.
Abbie commented: “From volunteering I think you learn good
life skills, good teaching skills and how to be kind” she explained “When I was
younger, I learnt how to sail with people who were volunteers so it’s a great
way to give something back.”
Each of the volunteers were nominated by fellow volunteers,
club members and other members of the boating community.
Chair of RYANI Jackie Patton said: “It was an honour to
attend this event on behalf of RYANI. We wish to congratulate Abbie, Graham and
David who deserve recognition for their dedication and service to the sport.
Volunteers play essential roles in the delivery of sailing activities, running
of Clubs and events. Without such inspiring people, sports wouldn't
function. I am very thankful for all
that our volunteers do.”
David Nelson from
Ballyholme Yacht Club (BYC) was given a lifetime commitment award for his
30 years’ service to the sport.
During this time, David has progressed as a sailor and
competed in Regional and National events, and he has also served as a National
Judge and holds Coach Assessor accreditation. He brings a wealth of experience
into his volunteering at BYC, where he has recently demonstrated his
instruction and leadership qualities by overseeing the Dolphin & Shark
programme, creating a very positive learning environment that has led to a
significant increase in cadet members and vibrant youth sailing extending into
David has also taken on the crucial role of Club Bosun,
keeping an extensive training dinghy fleet safe and fit for purpose. Sitting on
the BYC Training Committee his advice is always welcome and his opinion well
respected. His continued, dedicated commitment has been of great support to the
club, where he has been instrumental in the increase in on-water participation.
He is held in very high esteem by the members, cadet parents/guardians and his
fellow instructors at BYC.
Graham Skelton from
Carrickfergus Sailing Club (CSC) received an Outstanding Contribution
award. As Groundsman, he ensures that the grounds around the club are
maintained, and he has also taken on the responsibility of Club Bosun.
Graham and his team pay meticulous attention to repairs and
maintenance of the club’s fleet of safety boats, and he regularly sees to the
maintenance of the inside of the clubhouse too. A qualified RYA Powerboat
Instructor, he has helped members to gain Powerboat Level 1 and 2
qualifications and he is an integral part of the safety support boat rota,
probably doing more than his fair share of volunteering for this task.
He has successfully trained junior members for the Honda
Youth RIB Championship, taking the time to instruct them at their level and
make the training fun but focused. Graham is also a supporter of social
activities within the club and acts as quizmaster during quiz nights in the winter
months. Enthusiastic, motivated, and hardworking, he is a great all-rounder for
whom nothing is too much trouble.
Abbie Brown from
Donaghadee Sailing Club (DSC) received a Youth Award on the night. In her
role as Junior Commodore and Assistant Instructor at DSC, Abbie devotes many
hours of her time to organising junior events and teaching sailing.
In addition, she supports the senior committee meetings by
representing the juniors and reporting on the many varied junior events being
organised both on and off the water. Recently selected for the Northern Ireland
Laser Performance Squad, her enthusiasm for sailing has impacted the community.
This year, she helped to re-fashion, organise and promote
the club’s Bright Night Sailing Programme, which was oversubscribed. She has
taught many children to sail, helped with rescue boat cover and organised a
tuck shop. The result of her enthusiasm and infectious love of sailing has been
a remarkable increase in the younger members’ participation in regular club racing.
Her most outstanding achievement this year was the organisation of the DSC
Abbie has developed the Junior Committee and its position
within the club structure and has demonstrated leadership qualities and
maturity beyond her 15 years.
Nominations are now invited for the 2020 RYA Volunteer Awards. For more
information visit www.rya.org.uk/go/volunteerawards