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Gareth's Gossip - August 16

Gareth Sport England strategy, club membership survey reminder, support our Olympians!

Hi all,

At the moment I’m getting contacted by a few clubs and centres each week, asking if I’ve heard anything about the next Sport England funding cycle and wondering what it will mean for them. We are working closely with Sport England to ensure sailing clubs and centres have the support and funding they require in the next four year period.

The best opportunity to find out about it all in full will be at the RYA Midlands Affiliated Clubs Conference at the Landau Forte Academy in Tamworth, on Saturday 19 November, to which all clubs in the region are invited. Further information is available here

The conference will include presentations, breakout group sessions, workshops and clinics designed to give clubs all the details about exactly what the 2017-2021 RYA Strategy means - and how to use all the information and expertise available to secure a bright future for your members.

It will be a valuable start to planning the season ahead for all our clubs and we hope everyone who comes along will leave with a better understanding of how the RYA can help to achieve your goals, and also that you will also be inspired with ideas to build on for the future.

We’ll also have a programme of Club Development Workshops around the region over winter. Further details about these and the RYA Midlands Affiliated Clubs Conference will be published soon.

Support Our Midlands Olympians

With the Olympics now in full swing, our Midlands Olympians need you! Keep up to date with all the action in Rio by checking out the RYA Rio 2016 website - and don’t forget you can show your support and post your good luck messages for sailors via social media – on Twitter: @BritishSailing and Facebook: BritishSailingTeam

Four of Britain's 15-strong Olympic team were either raised in the Midlands or have strong links to the region and we want them to know we’re with them every tack and gybe of the way!

  • Market Harborough-raised Dylan Fletcher, with crew Alain Sign, is battling for victory in the 49er skiff class, and spent years honing his skills on Pitsford Water at Northampton SC, his family home now being Desborough, Northants.
  • Bewdley's Ali Young, born in Wolverhampton, is heading to her second Games in the women's Laser Radial. The current world champion says her journey to Rio started not just four years ago, but when she first stepped into a boat with her dad at Trimpley SC aged nine.
  • Giles Scott meanwhile, our worthy successor to Ben Ainslie in the Finn, is typically associated with Grafham Water SC, just over the Northamptonshire border, and practised his fledgling racing talents at Hollowell SC.
  • Ben Saxton is another Grafham sailor with Northamptonshire links, and is making his Olympic debut in Rio in the new Nacra 17 catamaran with Nicola Groves; he’s the great-grandson of Middle Nene SC founder member Reg Loakes and grandson of former MNSC commodore Michael Perkins!

Find out all about our local heroes and the rest of the British Sailing Team, and keep up to date with their racing schedule and results here.

By the way, if you know of any major Midlands links to our Olympians and Paralympians that we might have missed, please let us know on our RYA Midlands Facebook page!

Have an Olympic party!

Aside from catching up with the Olympic coverage on TV, why not enjoy a little of the Rio atmosphere by attending one of the RYA Sail for Gold Roadshows or having a ‘big screen’ event at your own club to coincide with a medal race? The BBC has all the action from the Olympics live on TV, radio and online, so you don’t have to miss a moment; click here for details of the schedule.

Trimpley Sailing Club is hosting a ‘try sailing for free’ day and screening on Monday 15 August to coincide with the Laser Radial medal race of its own home-grown Ali Young. Visitors are invited to come along from 10am and then enjoy the Olympic coverage and BBQ from 4pm.

And there’s an RYA Sail for Gold Roadshow in our region at Rutland Water on Thursday 18 August from 10am-4pm, which includes try sailing for free and a chance to meet some of the British Sailing Team before watching the medal races live from Rio on screens at 5pm in the clubhouse. It’s great opportunity to cheer on Dylan Fletcher and Alain Sign in the 49er. There will be food and refreshments including a BBQ - no need to book, just come along!

There are also Team GB FanZones around the country where people can come together to watch the Olympic coverage on a big screen. These include Coventry’s Millennium Place – the only official Team GB FanZone in the Midlands. Daily Olympic coverage will combine with sports and activities, and members of Draycote Water Sailing Club will have a Go Sailing Gazebo and boat there on Saturday 13 August from 12-5pm.  

RYA Affiliated Club Membership Census - still time to take part!

All our affiliated clubs should have had a link to complete the 2016 RYA Affiliated Club Membership Census. If you do manage to complete it before 1200 on 15 August 2016 your club will be entered into a prize draw; one club selected at random will receive a £500 prize of their choice and two additional clubs will each receive a £250 prize. If you miss this deadline though, please do still take part as we’ll be continuing to gather the information for some time and every reply really does count. You can read all about the survey and the insights we got on club membership in the Midlands last year here.  

Have a great Olympic month!


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