This was a new development for what used to be the Affiliated Clubs Conference, broader in scope, and attended by teams involved with managing clubs, class associations, club-based Training Centres and Sailability groups – in fact all RYA affiliates.
The event perhaps can’t be called sold out as it was free, but it was fully booked.
Meeting and greeting
The day started with a registration and networking session, with delegates meeting old and new acquaintances from across the region, and featuring the easiest to use coffee machines ever seen and full cookie jars. It was a great chance to meet other volunteers and share ideas.
Regional Development Officer Steve Mitchell lead the welcome, followed by videos on volunteering and women on the water and a panel discussion on these.
The RYA team
A large and wide ranging RYA team, from board members to back room boys and girls, was introduced and delegates encouraged to talk to them during the day – a great opportunity to connect with RYA specialists and tap into their knowledge and experience.
Following coffee and networking there was then a large choice of forums, workshops and presentations, covering topics such as challenges and opportunities in 2024, creating a volunteer strategy, and running safe and successful events.
Lunch and beyond
A long, and free, lunch afforded more networking before the afternoon plenary, then a choice from six technical pop-up sessions with topics ranging from making it easier for disabled people through finding funding to enabling yacht cruisers to start racing.
Next came a further wide choice of forums, workshops or presentations offering subjects like diversifying your offer, creating a welcoming environment and sharing ideas for running your training centre.
The event wrapped up with a final networking session, and more coffee and cookies. There was a lively buzz around the event, with perhaps the biggest challenge being finishing sessions on time given the enthusiastic discussions they prompted.
Feedback from the day included:
“Well done Roger (regional team chair) and Steve (regional development officer). Excellent conference.”
We had a very good day, thank you Steve to all the organising team!”
“Great to see so many RYA staff. Liked the new venue as well. All hard work much appreciated.”
“There is a huge amount that goes into organising and preparing for a big conference such as this – well done.”
“A really excellent day. We were really pleased to attend. Thank you.”
Steve Mitchell said of the day: “We invited all affiliates, and it was fantastic to see affiliated clubs, Sailability groups, class associations, and training centres from within clubs attending the day, reflecting the diverse boating community we have in our region.
“I would like to thank our new regional chair Roger Belton and the rest of the regional volunteer team who supported the event in the lead up, and who were present on the day supporting all clubs from across the region”.
Following on from the conference please don’t miss our Connected webinars
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