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New Volunteer Team Bringing New Opportiunities

David Dale Midlands Regional Volunteer Team replaces East and West committees

All the recent talk of regional boundary changes etc etc might just sound like boring politics, but what does it actually mean for sailing clubs in our region?

Well the biggest thing is the East and West committees are no more, replaced by a new Midlands Regional Volunteer Team, incorporating reps from each side of the Midlands divide. 

But again you could be forgiven for thinking, 'Yeah. So? How does this effect us?' Well wonder no more as here is your answer. It effects you lots! Here's why....

Ok, the new Midlands Regional Volunteer Team was officially ratified at its Inaugural General Meeting in February, the culmination of a couple of years' RYA working party graft looking at how to make the RYA in the regions more relevant to the clubs and boaters they represent.

The main thing with the new Volunteer Team is whereas RYA regional committees, rightly or wrongly, may have traditionally been seen as a lot of talk but little action, the new team is role-based. This means no longer will there be the vagaries of counties etc but everyone on the Team has a specific responsibility to progress a certain area of priority activity. 

In other words the new Volunteer Team has a clear remit to work with the Regional Sports Development Team, headed up by Gareth Brookes, to support all RYA Affiliated Clubs in the region and to promote the RYA, as well as maintain the previous committee role of being the voice for clubs back into the RYA.

Yes there are still the traditional committee roles of Chair, Vice Chair, Treasurer and Secretary but in addition a number of new posts have been created to fulfil this new brief. 

David Dale, who previously headed up the West Midlands committee and was on the working party, has assumed the role of Chair of the new Volunteer Team. The new Vice Chair is former East Midlands Chair, Roger Day, who also sat on the working party.

David believes clubs will see a tangible difference in the support you receive from the region.

He said: "Everyone has a job, you can't just sit on a committee, voice your opinions and then do nothing any longer. Our intention is to be more active and make a difference.

"However we won't achieve anything as a small group which meets two or three times a year. We want to now start encouraging a lot more people to get involved in things they care about and ultimately form smaller teams of people looking after each of the areas of activity and driving things forwards independently. 

"These groups will still have to feedback at the Regional Volunteer Team when we meet throughout the year but it promotes genuine year round action."

 So who's who...

  • Chairman - David Dale 
  • Vice Chair and Regional Fleet Co-ordinator - Roger Day
  • Treasurer - Ashleigh Hemming
  • Secretary - Peter Smerdon
  • Club Support - Andrew Yates (WM), Howard Nelson (EM)
  • Cruising Officer - Judy Lambourne
  • Team Racing - Steve Watson
  • Leasing support/advisor - Richard Viggars
  • Honda RYA Youth RIB - Will Baldock
  • Awards co-ordinator - Bruce Bonar
  • General support - Mike Pipes, Bill Trewick

Areas that still need some additional support include Sailability, Green Blue and promotional work at county shows etc. It would be great to get some more women involved too.

If you think you might be able support the new Regional Volunteer Team in helping the Midlands achieve its boating ambitions email David Dale at

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