I would like to take this opportunity to reflect on the challenges over the last two months and to appreciate the difficult tasks that clubs have been facing, but also to praise the innovation and excellent work of the clubs to maintain member engagement through a variety of initiatives. We have been doing our best to get information out to you and it has been a real pleasure to have so many of you attend the Club Development Forums, thank you.
I would like to express how happy we are that recreational boating is now possible and how good it has been to see people out on the water and enjoying all the benefits that boating can bring. We know it will be some time before things return to normal, however we have an opportunity to be creative and think of new ways to facilitate recreational sailing within our clubs, ways that promote safety for volunteers and participants and a considerate and conservative approach by all of those going on the water. Training, albeit on a limited scale with specific disciplines may now also be possible for a number of training centres, which is a great opportunity to support those that are looking to progress their skills. I’d love to hear from clubs that have seen success with new ideas and would be willing to share them.
We have been working hard to develop our online resources to reflect the return to boating and we are releasing new content each week. This includes club development videos and top tips for returning to boating, these are all featured on the various YouTube Channel playlists (see RYA and British Sailing Team).
Covid-19 will have had a significant impact on many of your clubs. It has been good to hear that lots of you have had successful grants and local authority support, however I understand how difficult a time it still is, and will be, for some time to come. The RYA is very keen to understand the impact of the pandemic on club membership and therefore we have launched our annual club membership census. We appreciate that you do not have the time to spend completing a lengthy survey and therefore we have reduced the number of questions to make it a little easier to complete. By returning the census you are helping us to better understand the club landscape and enable us to work with the likes of Sport England to shape future support for affiliated clubs.
I wish you well during this difficult time - please do not hesitate to get in touch should you have any questions.
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