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Susie's Scoop April

Hi everyone,

Firstly, I hope you and your families are all keeping safe and well during these unprecedented and difficult times. As we near the end of our second week of staying at home, it is imperative that we all continue to follow the latest guidance from Government , which of course means that clubs will have their activities impacted.

In response to these measures, the RYA has taken the difficult decision to extend the current suspension of its directly organised events and training until at least 31 May 2020. This includes the postponement of all regional events through-out the South region.

RYA staff are now also working from home, where it is possible for them to do so. The decision has also been taken to close the RYA’s buildings over the Easter break (4-19 April) with the majority of staff taking annual leave. None of this has been done lightly. But taking small steps now will have a major effect over the longer term.

Engaging with your membership

I know that during this crisis there will be many challenges to come for everyone in our sport: including how to engage with your members when we are no longer able to physically come together.

I am aware that many of you are already trying to improve your communications with members to keep them engaged remotely. Remember there are RYA resources available for you to utilise to help become effective at communicating and engaging with your membership – some of whom of course will be debating about which memberships to re-new as we go forward. To access these resources please visit Club Zone which is produced by our digital partners, Social B.

I have had a number of clubs asking what others are up to engage with their members – these are some of the ideas that I have heard so far:

  • Club quizzes
  • Club happy Hours – online ‘chat room’ with a drink or two perhaps?!
  • Use of newer Apps including Zoom and House Party as well as those you may already be using such as Facebook and WhatsApp

I would encourage you to speak with your contact with in other clubs to ask each other and share your ideas so we can all succeed in this area.

Club Committee Member - Club Development Forum – 22nd April

Bringing clubs together, I will be hosting a ‘face-to-face’ online forum on Wednesday 22nd April at 3pm for us to bring to the table ideas and discuss how to engage with members during this crisis. With over 130 clubs in our region and some fantastic pro-active activities already planned, this forum will provide the ideal opportunity for club committee members to come together and generate, learn, exchange and share ideas together. We are all in this together and together we can be stronger - so I highly recommend that as many of you as possible take part.

Please book your place here. After you have signed up you will be emailed instructions on how to log on to the webinar. 

Get competitive and host a Virtual Regatta

Why not take up sailing from the comfort of your living room via e-sailing through the Virtual Regatta app. In partnership with World Sailing and Virtual Regatta, Virtual Regatta have kindly offered a free 12 month VIP pass for RYA Affiliated clubs. Unfortunately it is now closed to new entries so do check to see if your club has set up an account where members can take part in scheduled races. Entries are also automatically entered into the in-shore National Championships. 

I would love to hear how this goes – so do send me your videos and photos. A hints and tips video can be found here

I also have an account to host some regional events and will be pulling together a series of races starting the week of the 20th April. Keep an eye on the RYA South Facebook page for more on this.

Get involved in Project #SailFromHome

Project #SailFromHome, a collaboration between the British Youth Sailing’s Junior and Youth sections and the British Sailing Team, aims to engage with, inspire and entertain young sailors while they can’t get out on the water.

The project will feature a range of online sailing-specific content delivered via British Sailing Team Youtube channel including home workouts, expert sessions on a range of sailing-specific topics as well as bespoke sessions for members of the British Youth Sailing squads.

Project #SailFromHome kicked off at 11am on Monday March 30 with the first episode of the Monday Motivation Show vodcast aimed at kickstarting the week with inspiration from the biggest names in sailing. For the full timetable check out

Having started with the target group of young racing sailors, there will also soon be lots of forthcoming #SailFromHome content for clubs and centres – with themes including funding, volunteering and club development – and for sailors, windsurfers and powerboaters covering everything from maintenance and personal wellbeing/fitness to coaching and sailing legends. For younger and less experienced sailors there are also plans for some OnBoard specific sessions.

#SailFromHome - there’s lots to look forward to!

Could your club benefit from the Sport England Community Emergency fund?

Sport England has announced a £195 million package to help the community sport and physical activity sector in England cope with the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic. This includes a £20 million Community Emergency Fund which will be opened immediately for clubs and community organisations to bid for grants between £300 and £10,000. Learn more here.

The RYA has prepared guidance to assist clubs, in line with advice from the UK Government and Public Health England; read more here. If you require any further information please email me. I will also record a webinar advising clubs on completing these applications soon. Please note that I advise you to carefully consider how your application meets the criteria and not to rush your application: organisations only apply once.

Final call to win £15,000 Panerai Challenger Trophy

Nominations for the Panerai Challenger Trophy 2020 close at 5pm on Tuesday 14 April – next week!

This is an exclusive opportunity for RYA OnBoard venues. If you have a young sailor or windsurfer within your organisation that has used the power of being on the water to overcome something significant then please consider making a nomination. Please note the Panerai Challenger Trophy is only open to RYA OnBoard venues. 

The overall winner will receive £10,000 for the venue and £5,000 for the individual. Three runners up will also receive £5,000 for the venue and £2,500 for the individual. This trophy has proven to be life changing for many of the past finalists and their supporting venues have been able to develop youth participation with the help of their award funding.

For more information and to read the Trophy Terms please click here. To make a nomination, click here.

More Covid-19 useful help and advice

If you haven’t already, I would encourage you to keep an eye on our Coronavirus hub for the latest updates and guidance. Don’t forget, we offer a wide range of practical advice and guidance on all aspects of boating – from legal advice, technical guidance, RYA training, and cruising tips – and we are also working closely with the Government to try and find solutions during this difficult period.

If your club or centre is badly impacted by Covid-19 please drop me an email. We are capturing the details of the organisations that have been badly affected so when more support becomes available from our partners at organisations such as Sport England we can target this support where it is needed most. The RYA is working with other national funding bodies for sport to co-ordinate responses; helping to ensure that your boating interests are represented.

Club Break-ins – is your club secure?

Since the national lockdown I have sadly heard of a couple of clubs that have suffered from criminal activity, with outboard engines being stolen and vandalism. This has been from outside of the RYA South Region however highlights that our facilities & equipment are at risk with less watchful eyes on them.

So I urge you to take note and consider how you are keeping your clubs facilities and equipment safe as well as your members. I have heard of a ‘club watch’ system being set up with local members passing their club on the daily permitted exercise run/ cycle routes.

Please Share

And finally: please share this Club Room - and encourage people to sign themselves up here. This is our main communications list for club related information so be the first to hear.

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