Robbie’s Blog for March 2024

Hi everyone,

What’s been happening in the East?

RYA Connected Forums round-up

I am writing this following an extremely busy period that started with the delivery of a series of Connected Forums across the East Region, way back at the beginning of February. We held 5 evening sessions that saw 100 attendees from 48 RYA Affiliates attend to discuss how we can support existing and future participants, recruit volunteers and tailor activity to specific audiences. It was really good to hear about the initiatives and ideas planned for the season ahead, but also to receive enthusiasm for putting participants at heart of everything we do, tailoring activity to encourage greater engagement and continued participation. Since the sessions I have been contacted by several clubs looking to introduce new activities such as Women on the Water groups or run targeted Discover Sailing days. Jane Ellison is leading on Inclusivity and Female Participation support – please do get in touch to discuss your plans or needs via jane.ellison@rya.org.uk

Discover Sailing

I’ve mentioned Discover Sailing; this is our current support Open Day/Taster Session initiative. RYA Affiliates and Training Centres can sign up to Discover Sailing, which will in turn provide them with event promotion and guidance including booking forms, planning and legal guides, and £75 worth of resources to signpost/dress your event. Whether you use Discover Sailing to support a larger Open Day or wish to use it for a targeted Taster event for a specific audience, I’d very much like to encourage you to sign up, please find out more here: https://www.rya.org.uk/club-centre-support/affiliates/finding-new-members/adults/discover-sailing

Congratulation to Colne Yacht Club

I’d like to say a huge congratulations to Colne Yacht Club, who were recently named winner of the Active Club category in the Club of the Year Awards. The Award, presented by Sunsail, celebrates achievements in developing strong participation opportunities, pathways and training which enable their members to be as active as possible throughout their life stages.

Colne Yacht Club engaged with the local community, providing training opportunities and hospitality events. Through initiatives like the Sonata Activity Groups, beginners have the opportunity to learn alongside experienced skippers, fostering a supportive environment for skill development. I am genuinely delighted for the Club on this well-deserved accolade for a lot of hard work over a long period – congratulations!

Instructor Development Opportunities

I am keen to support the development of instructors throughout the coming year; specifically our aim will be to support the growth of Winging activity and to provide opportunities for those that are, or wish to become Senior Instructors and Chief Instructors. We are planning some SI prep-days, a Summer/Autumn SI course and a day for Chief Instructors, as well as signposting Wingsurf Instructor courses. If you’re interested in any of the above, please do get in touch with Jen.Miller@rya.org.uk . It is worth noting that any RYA Senior Instructor with some Wing Surfing experience can undertake a 2-day Wingsurf Instructor Course, This is a key step in the journey to adding Winging recognition to your RYA Training Centre, so why not get involved?!

Regional Training Day

Last weekend we delivered the annual RYA Regional Training Day. The event saw 85 people descend on Grafham Water to participate in several on-shore and on-the- water activities, including sessions focussing on: Digital navigation, spinnaker use, games with aims, safety boat techniques, winging, person-centred learning and much more. My thanks to all those who attended – and particularly Grafham Water Centre for hosting, Shuttleworth College, Kimbolton School, Essex Marine Training and Grafham Water Sailing Club for supporting the event.

I look forward to seeing you on, or near the water in due course.

Kind Regards

Robbie

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