Latest research and best practice will help clubs across the region to put people at the forefront of their planning.

A packed schedule at the RYA North East Affiliated Clubs Conference on Saturday 30 November will provide expert insights into how ‘putting people first’ can help clubs to gain and retain members for a vibrant future.

The conference will have 17 specialist workshops giving delegates a chance to explore the latest RYA research on volunteering and people management. There will also be an opportunity for clubs to hear all about the initial consultation for the 2021-2025 RYA North East Strategic Plan and have their say.

Tickets for the conference are free and include parking, refreshments and lunch. The venue, Leeds Trinity University, provides a central location for the region and the day begins at 9.30am with registration ahead of a 10am start time, with a full programme of speakers and workshops concluding at 4.30pm.

Sam Usher, RYA North East Regional Development Officer, said: “This year's conference is all about 'putting people first'. That means understanding what your members, volunteers and new sailors need, and putting that at the forefront of your decision making - whether you want to grow your membership, increase your volunteer base, develop your instructors and race coaches or simply get better at retaining members of all ages, interests and abilities.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity to meet and network with other clubs, share ideas and success stories and discuss the current issues that are having an impact in clubs and the sport more widely. We would love to see at least two people from each club come along. It would also be great if one of your club contingent could be an Affiliated Clubs Conference first-timer!”

Three rounds of workshops will offer delegates a wide variety topics to choose from:

  • How can we ensure safety teams are prepared for varying situations and sailor requirements? The role of a safety boat driver can be challenging given the wide range of sailors, crafts and conditions they may encounter – this session will explore how clubs can prepare their teams for this role.
  • How can we develop young people through sailing and windsurfing? Creating a programme to deliver sessions that maximise the impact of our sport.
  • Are there alternatives to recruiting volunteers from your club? Exploring the balance of professionalism v. maintaining a strong volunteer ethos.
  • How can you secure funding through external sources? Advice on the variety of funding options available for clubs and top tips for writing a successful bid.
  • What does your club need to know about employment law? The legalities of volunteering, contracting and employing people.
  • How can we engage non-sailing families? Exploring what we can do to attract and support this important group.
  • The world of volunteering is changing… Research suggests people’s propensity to volunteer hasn’t changed but the way the want to volunteer has changed – they want flexibility and more autonomy and ownership of projects, and don’t just want to make a contribution, they want to make a difference! Learn how to adapt your volunteer management to cater for this new breed of volunteer.
  • What do non-racers want from their membership? The cruising community is growing so ensuring your club is set up for a diverse community of members is becoming more important.
  • Climate change? Biodiversity? Single Use Plastics? Latest science and government policies and what they mean for the future, alongside how clubs can best plan to address sustainability issues with the greatest impact for the least cost.
  • Legal open forum: An opportunity to share your club’s challenges with the RYA legal team and other clubs.
  • How could you raise funds from within your club membership? Exploring sources of funding you can generate yourself.
  • Supporting the development of junior activity: A chance to identify the key components of a successful junior club and discover what support is available for junior club coordinators.
  • Development opportunities for coaches and instructors: A focus on the development opportunities the RYA offers and sharing how other clubs and centres are developing their coaches and instructors.
  • How can we better promote the impact of sailing and use this to grow our clubs? People remember good stories, not lots of facts. Learn how to create case studies about the difference sailing has made to the lives of your members and the ways you can use these compelling stories to target and connect with new audiences.
  • What are the best means of retaining newer members? Discuss strategies that have proved successful in a variety of organisations and leave with ideas and tactics for reducing membership churn.
  • How can you develop club racing with opportunities for club volunteers? An interactive session looking at how the RYA Racing Services Team can help your club deliver the racing your members want, including: race management; rules advisors; handicapping; measurement and equipment inspection; racing formats.
  • How your club can run an open day that retains visitors as members: Understanding the importance of planning in making a successful open day and how Push the Boat Out can support clubs to develop membership.

To find out more and book your FREE place, visit our RYA North East Affiliated Clubs Conference page.




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