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Gareth's Gossip - November 2016

Update from your Midlands Regional Development Officer

Hi everyone

Hope you've all been able to take advantage of this warm Autumn and
keep the sailing season going, whether that's filling any September / October courses you had planned or just having more people around at the club and on the water than you typically would at this time of year. 

I'm going to start with a quick final call for the RYA Midlands Affiliated Clubs Conference which takes place at Landau Forte Academy Sixth Form in Tamworth next Saturday (19 November).

By now I hope you've all had the opportunity to see what's in store and have recruited a car load of people from your club to come and take advantage of the unique chance to collar so many RYA experts under one roof on the same day. It doesn't matter if you can only make the morning or afternoon we would still love to see you.

Jack Fenwick, RYA Keelboat Development Manager has now also been confirmed to attend and you can book a 1:1 clinic with Jack to discuss specific issues or opportunities you or your club may have to look towards developing keelboat activity at your club.

The last chance to book your places, and to tell us which workshops and clinics you want to attend is this SUNDAY 13 NOVEMBER and you confirm you booking and check out the agenda here - RYA Affiliated Club Conferences   

Among the 'hot off the press' stuff set to be discussed at the conference will be the results of the 2016 RYA Affiliated Club Membership Survey, which are currently being analysed for the region.

We're really looking forward to sharing the new insights on what's changing, what's worked and where the challenges are across our Midlands clubs over the past 12 months, so we can all better understand the regional landscape moving into 2017, and make informed decisions based on these insights.  

If you need a quick reminder as to why your club should make the effort to head along here's Top 5 Reasons Not To Miss Midlands Clubs Conference we put together for last month's newsletter.

Book a Paralympian for your club event

How cool would it be to have a double Paralympic medalist and five-time World Champion sailor present the prizes at your club presentation night or at a special junior club night to inspire your youngsters or even come to coach your adults or kids?

Niki Birrell, who won SKUD bronze with Alexandra Rickham at both Rio 2016 and London 2012, is your man! If you would be interested in inviting Niki to your club drop an email to

Do your members think they are RYA members?

There's been an interesting RYA video doing the rounds on social media over the past couple of weeks on the top 5 reasons you should join the RYA.

It's interesting because one of the things myself and the Midlands sailing development officers often hear when we visit clubs in the planning season is the assumption that because someone is a member of an RYA affiliated sailing club they are automatically an RYA member too. But that's not the case.

The RYA recently introduced its new look membership and there are many reasons people do become personal RYA members, from specialist and technical boating advice, to access to exclusive offers and discounts from over 50 member reward partners, helping members keep the cost of boating down.

Here is the video; it might just be worth sharing with your club members and/or on your club social media so that if people do find they could do with the RYA's help to resolve a personal boating issue, for example, it doesn't come as a shock to them that they are not already covered.

Vote for Carsington Sailability In The Aviva Community Fund Competition

Can you spare two minutes to support Carsington Sailability's bid to vote for them to win an Aviva Community Fund grant of potentially up to £25,000? The club is developing a new state-of-the-art Sailability Centre at Carsington SC to sit at the heart of the club's Sailability 2020 Vision.

There are some really innovative, exciting ideas and technology planned for the new facility that will promote independent and inclusive access to facilities, equipment and the water for all users. But the club needs the votes to make it on to the final competition shortlist.

You have until Friday 18 November to vote so do it now here - Carsington Sailability 2020 Vision

Look forward to seeing you all at Tamworth on 19 November! Until then...


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