RDO East Blog – January 2023

Happy New Year everybody, I hope that you all had a fantastic Christmas and here’s to a prosperous season ahead.

Prior to Christmas I sent out an email to RYA Affiliated Clubs and Training Centres to promote opportunities for instructors and club volunteers. These opportunities include local evening workshops organised by your Local Sailing Association and a number of courses, including our annual Dinghy Senior Instructor Course, for which we are accepting applications now. Please keep an eye on the RYA East area website for additional information. For now, please do ask your instructors to Save the Date for the Regional Training Day on Sunday 12 March at the Royal Hospital School, Ipswich.

Recently we were really pleased to see that the Sport England Small Grant fund has re-opened – look out for further information in Club Room, but for now here’s a few headlines about this award: 

  • Aimed at developing opportunities for communities to get more people physically active
  • Awards of £300-£15,000 are available to not-for-profit organisations.
  • Awards are to help inactive and less active people become more active.
  • Our priority is to support projects working with people living in areas of disadvantage as defined by the Indices of Multiple Deprivation Areas 1 to 3. To see which area your project location fits into, you can use this postcode checker.
  • Applications should explain why there’s a need for the project and how end users have been involved in developing the project. 
  • Applications should consider how the project adds value to services currently available in your local community and work collaboratively with other groups to maximise the impact of the project.
  • Examples of what may be funded include: coaching; volunteer training; additional equipment and minor facility alterations. 
  • It cannot be used for general running costs, existing activity, or replacement equipment.
  • The closing date for applications is 30 June 2023 and you can find out more here.

It’s been good to see that many clubs are still active and have had some great turnouts over the winter so far. Of course, the majority of clubs are gearing up for the season ahead and I hope that your plans are progressing well. It has been a really interesting few years for club membership and I hope that we can continue to capitalise on the positive trend we have seen over the last two years. The addition of supportive activity for newer members early in the season will certainly help with retention and it continues to be important to ensure that your communication with members is tailored and effective. With the cost-of-living crisis affecting many households, it is likely that some people will be questioning the value of club membership. We know that the supportive environment that clubs create is hugely beneficial for both physical and mental health, so please do not underestimate your offer to your membership and, most importantly, don’t forget to tell everyone about all of the benefits that your club can bring.

Please do not hesitate to get in touch with your plans for the season ahead, we’d especially love to hear about new initiatives and any good news stories that you think other clubs would benefit from hearing.

Finally, don’t forget to vote for our East Region finalist, Blackwater Sailing Club, in the RYA and Yachts & Yachting with Sailing Today Club of the Year finals 2023. The activity and development at the Club make it a worthy finalist. Voting is open for the overall award, which closes at midday on 23 January 2023. It would be great to support them in their bid to become Club of the Year, please find out more and vote here.

Keep in touch

You can keep up-to-date with the latest East Region news on our WebpagesTwitter, Facebook and Instagram

Best wishes


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