As many as 65 instructors and trainers gathered on a chilly Saturday morning (24 February 2018) for the annual RYA Scotland Instructor Conference to enjoy a whole host of workshops, updates, networking and discussion. sportscotland National Centre Inverclyde were the perfect hosts for the conference and the new facilities added to what we hoped was an inspiring and informative day for everyone.

It all started with an update from James Allan, CEO of RYA Scotland which covered some of the successes over the past year including the number of clubs taking part in Push The Boat Out, the hundreds of people RYA Scotland got on the water at Scotland's Boat Show despite the challenging weather, club census numbers at an all-time high plus the dreaded topic of GDPR.

Rachel Andrews, RYA Powerboat Chief Instructor, gave an update from the training department at the RYA over the past year.

"Everyone here today, to me, are the face of RYA Training. It is down to you that people are taking training courses. We had 260,000 people take courses throughout 58 different countries but mainly in the UK so thank you".

Rachel covered a whole host of topics that cover the extremely diverse work of the training department at the RYA. Bringing everyone up to late with some of the latest developments in our sport and within our organisation, Rachel was a welcome part of the programme. 

The rest of the morning saw a 'carousel' of discussions taking place in the large hall which facilitated short discussions on a variety of topics and allowed people to move around and join in with topics to suit their area of work. There was a short break for lunch and then everyone broke into groups for the afternoon sessions taking place both on shore and on the water. 

Nikki Stewart, RYA Scotland Coach Education Manager and organiser of the Instructor Conference said:

"I was really pleased to see so many new faces and to have lots of people attending the conference from as far as Orkney, Harris and Inverness. It has been a really busy day with plenty of good discussions on shore, getting people out on the water and we even had some fun with taking feedback through Mentimeter at the end. I am really keen for instructors and trainers to make this conference their own and to get from it as much as possible so getting feedback from everyone is really important".

"The aim of the day was to ensure that people were moving around, engaging in discussions, learning and also networking. Our RDO Robin Nicol was putting people on the spot with 60 second elevator pitches to help with selling your product, David Kent took everyone outside for some car park GPS, and there were even a few who braved the cold weather for the night time navigation exercises".

Thanks go to Ed Stevens from Yamaha, Emma Hepplewhite from SailingFast and Ollie Hooper from Hartley Boats who all joined us for the day to present their products and offer advice.

If you attended the conference then we would like to hear from you. Please give us your feedback using the link below and in exchange for your time we will enter you into our prize draw to win a Spinlock Deckvest!