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February 2019

There’s loads going on this month with a huge amount of opportunity to be out and about meeting with clubs, centres, sailors, parents and volunteers.

We are frantically putting together the final touches to the RYA Scotland Development Conference and Instructor Gathering events, however in the meantime here’s a little bit more information about what’s going on and how to get involved.

The Year So Far

  • RYA Scotland 2018 Annual Awards – 19th January 2019

The annual celebration of sailors, performances, volunteers, coaches, officials, instructors and clubs took place on 19th January with a ‘Burns Celebration’ theme at Kip Marina. Once all the guests had finished tucking into haggis, neeps and tatties, we were regaled with stories of commitment, dedication, perseverance, mentoring, support and some down-right hard work across the 10 categories as well as the Life-time Achievement Award for Terrence Brownrigg.

Special well done has to go to the 3 Club finalists – East Lothian Yacht Club, Royal Northern & Clyde Yacht Club and eventual winners Solway Yacht Club.

Once again, the level of nomination, variety of information and support for all those shortlisted and nominated was phenomenal. Further information on the winners on the night can be found here.

  • BUCS Chris Potter Bursary

RYA Scotland would like to wish Hugh Braidwood a huge congratulations for winning the Chris Potter Bursary Award for all his hard work as a volunteer for both Edinburgh University Sailing Club and Scottish Student Sailing. This annual award is given to someone who has made a significant contribution to student sport and it is fantastic to see Hugh being rewarded & recognised for all his hard work and effort over the last 4 years. You can read more about the award here

  • LGBT Youth Scotland Charter – Raise the Flag!

2018 saw RYA Scotland engage with a new partner around our 'a sport for everyone' mantra by our linking with LGBT Youth Scotland. Their charter programme has allowed us to specifically look at how we ensure clubs, centres and our sport (as a whole) can be seen to be as open and friendly as we like to think it is whilst ensuring that those from the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender community feel that they are welcomed and supported in boating.

At our forthcoming Instructor Gathering and Development Conference we are looking at sailing being a ‘place for everyone’, however during LGBT History Month (February), RYA Scotland decided to start a visual social media campaign supporting the rights of the LGBT+ community within the world of boating. We have a number of RYA Scotland Rainbow designed flags touring the country and we are asking clubs and centres to sign up to support the cause. More information on the charter and work RYA Scotland are doing within the community can be found here.

How to Get Involved

  • Push the Boat Out – Closing Date

Once again the National RYA initiative to get people on the water and trying sailing & windsurfing is taking place throughout the month of May 2019. There are 20 Scottish Clubs & Centres already signed up as part of the 2019 initiative, however, the deadline for clubs/centres to receive ‘personalised’ promotion packs is fast approaching – 5pm on 4th March 2019.

Unlike in previous years, it a one-step sign up and so you need to ensure that the details submitted for your May event are accurate. Resources once again include banners (this year they are recyclable), posters, goodies, Hi-Viz vests, a social media picture frame and wristbands.

So if you would like to ensure that your club/centre are part of the 2019 campaign then please ensure you have completed the Activator sign-up form!

  • The RYA Scotland Pioneer Project

We are looking at starting a new project with the aim of increasing the number of women and girls participating in sport and physical activity, in particular boating. RYA Scotland has identified that to have a lasting impact, we can’t do this alone and so this is where we need your help!

We are looking for up to 10 ‘Pioneers’ who:

  • Are female or male
  • Have a passion for and enjoy sport
  • Are active within their sailing club/centre and local community
  • Are happy to volunteer
  • Are eager to increase engagement within sailing (particularly females and those from diverse social groups)

For more information, please visit our website

If you are keen to get involved with the project the please email admin@ryascotland.org.uk no later than 25th February 2019, with your name, club/centre and 100 words on why you would be a great Pioneer. Alternatively you can send us a short video, no longer than 2 minutes, on why you would be great at this role.

  • RYA Scotland Spring Championships – 30th & 31st March 2019

RYA Scotland are back at Loch Tummel Sailing Club on 30/31st March for the Spring Championships. This is an inclusive event aimed at the Youth and Junior Classes (however open to all) which offers sailors the opportunity to get on the water, have some fun and put into practice what they have learnt over the winter!

Please encourage all of your active members, those who are new into racing as well as those already part of the performance pathway to get involved by following this link for more information and to enter.

  • RYA Scotland Class Academies 

How time has flown this year – we are already well into February and our Winter Training Class Academy Programme is more than half way through. If you have taken part in a weekend before, had a great time and would like to try it again, or have never heard of this training opportunity and are intrigued, then please follow this link for more information as well as dates and venues. Don’t hesitate to get yourself signed up and out training on the water with some top level Scottish Coaches and sailors!

  • Plans for a Lowland Canal Festival

Scottish Canals, in conjunction with a number of local partners, plan to hold a festival in May 2019 to celebrate the re-opening of the Forth & Clyde Canals to Coast-to-Coast traffic. Recent repair work, designed to ensure the safety of all Lowland Canal users is due to be completed in Spring 2019 and this event is seen as a way to encourage local users of the canals to be part of a floating festival during 24th-26th May 2019. Further details, including how you can get involved can be found here.

Other News

  • GB Special Olympic Team

Our final information section for this month, includes our recent Elizabeth Mackay Award winner – Laura Carrick – as it details the trip of a life-time for a small group of sailors who have been chosen to represent Great Britain at the Special Olympic World Games in Abu Dhabi in March 2019. The small team of sailors, led by David Hill at Castle Semple, are looking forward to representing Team GB at the Games on 16-20th March 2019. More information about their training and preparation can be found here.

Save the Dates for 2019 – further information shall be on the website soon

08 June 2019 – Wheels to Water Event (Disability watersports participation event at Lochwinnoch)

Finally, we are quite aware that the monthly blogs provide a variety of information that we (at RYA Scotland) pick and that we hope you find useful. However, if there’s a feature you would like to see us introduce such as a ‘club development topic’ or introducing the ‘team’ then please get in touch so that we can tailor the blog to you!

Take care and we hope to see you soon,

The Development Team, aka Robin, Jack & Liza.

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