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Susie's Scoop May 2020

Hi everyone,

Firstly, let me start by saying that I hope you and your families remain safe and well as we continue to live under lockdown. There are many changes that this brings to our way of life, and of course the implications this brings to our clubs and centres. During this month’s blog I am going to outline all the different RYA avenues that you can access for help, support, guidance and advice through-out this challenging time. 

I would also like to take this opportunity re-assure you that the RYA is working extremely hard to represent its members, individuals and affiliates alike during this unprecedented time. In response to the many concerns raised by our members following marina closures, we have written to key Government Ministers seeking definitive guidance that provides a practical way forward to give owners immediate access to their boats whilst respecting current measures to control COVID-19.   

With all sports now beginning to consider recovery, our plans are now well advanced on our ‘return to boating strategy’ in collaboration with the Sport and Recreation Alliance and their representations to Cabinet Office, as well as the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport. We are looking forward to supporting a safe and appropriate return to the water and we will be getting the message over that there is a very strong case for boating to be one of the first activities that could be resumed safely within any necessary parameters for social distancing.

This of course can only happen once we start to see a relaxation of the current restrictions and so we must continue to follow guidance for now as Boris urged us to do on Monday (27th April). Please keep an eye on the dedicated go-to area on the RYA website, containing all the latest Covid-19 related information which we continue to update as the situation develops. You can find it can here.

Financial support for Clubs and Centres

The RYA is offering guidance and advice to clubs and centres to help assist with emergency financial planning. The financial planning club guidance includes advice on reviewing income and expenditure, how to utilise savings, plus ideas to help generate revenue. It’s a very useful document and I do recommend that you give it a read.

This guidance is accompanied by a COVID-19 Financial Toolkit which has been created to support those working on emergency planning and budgeting processes. I know many of you already have robust business plans in place however, these are now unlikely to remain practical for the foreseeable future. I hope this toolkit, along with the guidance, will provide you with some helpful support during this process. As always, please do give me a ring or drop me an email to help with any questions you may have.

Government Action and Support

The Government has launched a new ‘support finder’ tool to help businesses and self-employed people across the UK to quickly and easily determine what financial support is available to them during the pandemic. Thank you to those of you who have replied to my questions regarding the receipt of the available business grants and rate holiday. It is very useful to get a picture of the current status. Please do get in touch with me if you would like some help with this.  

Sport England Community Emergency Fund

As mentioned in my last blog, 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 for clubs and community organisations to bid for grants between £300 and £10,000. Learn more here. I am also happy to discus and to support any clubs looking to apply. 

Covid-19 Access to Support Survey

Thank you to everyone who has also already submitted their responses to the ‘Covid-19 Access to Support Survey’ which I emailed to clubs this week. The survey has been designed to help you identify some of the help and support currently available. Your responses will will help the RYA and myself to support you better in these times. So please do take a moment to discuss with your follow committee members at your club or training centre who will complete the survey of your clubs behalf: it only takes a few minutes but provides us with invaluable information.     

Club Development Forums: sharing experiences  

To help bring clubs together, I will be hosting a new series of weekly online Club Development Forums focusing on issues which have developed as a result of the coronavirus epidemic. Utilising software that creates an online meeting spaces, the aim of these free ‘face-to-face’ forums is to share experiences and discuss topics that we are all facing. They really are the ideal opportunity for club committee members to learn and exchange ideas. They will last for approximately one hour and will take place on Wednesdays, see the list of dates and topics below as well as more information on the RYA South website.

 Topic  Session 1  Session  2
How to engage your club members remotely  Passed

6th May 19.00

How to hosting virtual committee, emergence general and annual general? 6th May 15.00

27th May 


How can we safely return to sailing once lockdown has eased?
13th May 15.00 13th May 19.00

How can we manage the financial impact of Covid-19 on our clubs?

20th May 15.00  20th May 19.00

How can we safely return to sailing once lockdown has eased? 

TBC subject will progress with government guidance  

27th May 19.00  

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

It's Time to Talk 

In conjunction with the above program I will also be hosting a weekly opportunity to join me online to have a general chat about any problems you are facing, concerns you have and opportunities you can see.

I am hoping that this will give you a platform to be able to speak with other clubs and share outside of the Development Forum topics. We are all in this together! So please do come and have a break from working from home/ home schooling your children, drink a cuppa tea and chat with me and others in the region.


 Stakeholder Group  Time  Booking
 Clubs 11.30 - 12.30   
 Recognised Training Centre  13.00 - 14.00  

RYA eSailing Spring Club Championship - Regional Finals

With the virtual eSailing racing proving extremely popular the RYA has decided to introduce the 'RYA eSailing Spring Club Championship' that will allow all competitors the chance to compete for the title of not only RYA eSailing Regional Spring Club Champion but also RYA eSailing Spring Club National Champion.

Clubs have been running their own Club Championships, which are now coming to a conclusion with a completion deadline of the 03 May 2020. Winners from the Club Championships will then be going forward to a regional heats on the 16th may followed by the regional final on the 23rd May. The top competitor from each RYA Region will then go forward to a National Final which is due to be sailed on Saturday 30th May 2020. Keep an eye of the RYA South Facebook for updates on results. 

If you want to find out more about the above & eSailing in general please have a look here 

#SailFromHome – Something for Everyone

While we are unable to get out on the water, you can still get your sailing fix from the range of opportunists on offer through #sailfromhome. Originally launched with content for racing sailors this has now been increased substantially to involve everyone interested in sailing: no matter what your age or level of experience.  

Every day, new content is delivered direct from the various RYA media channels including Twitter, Facebook and Youtube. So do keep an eye on your social media feeds.

From advice on boat maintenance to top tips from experts, to bitesize tutorials for junior and OnBoard sailors as well as club development specific sessions: there really is something for everyone to enjoy.  

Junior and OnBoard sailors are enjoying #SailSmart sessions run by Jake Elsbury from RS Sailing.  Proving a huge hit, these bite size tutorials take place every Wednesday. On Thursdays youngsters can have fun while learning knots and how to use them with #KnotOnTheWater.  More info here.  

Aimed at clubs,

‘Marketing Mondays’ include webinars from the experts at SocialB on how to successfully use social media. You may find this of benefit in helping you to communicate with your membership during this difficult time.  

On Thursdays don’t miss the Club Development sessions which are packed full of advice and information from myself and all the other Regional Development Officers. Club and centres can also get top tips on how to get ahead with funding applications with the #FundingFridays webinars, and stay in touch with all things #esailing on Saturdays.  

The full playlist of videos can be found here whilst the full #SailFromHome weekly activity schedule is here.

Panerai Challenger Trophy nominations extended until 15 May

Nominations for the Panerai Challenger Trophy 2020 have been extended until 15 May. 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. To make a nomination, click here.

RYA Volunteer Awards has been extended until 01 May

Each year the RYA Volunteer awards recognise the outstanding contributions made by volunteers throughout the UK. To nominate someone from you club please visit RYA Volunteer Awards webpage

Please share

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.

And finally…please keep in contact

The more we share with each other, the more we can learn about the challenges that clubs are facing and how we can best navigate these together.

You can email at or call on 07748806733   



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