The 2023 RYA Volunteer Awards were held on Friday 10 November at One Great George Street, with 81 accolades given this year in recognition of the outstanding dedication and commitment made by volunteers of all ages and from all corners of the UK.
Richard has served as Sailing Secretary and Commodore at Beccles Amateur Sailing Club, offering invaluable help and encouragement in setting up the club’s sailing school. In his first stint as Commodore from 2007, he addressed the gender diversity on the Committee, helped with fundraising to improve the stock of club boats for young sailors and presented new trophies. During this period, the club achieved RYA Volvo Champion Club status.
Commodore again from 2020-2022, his first action after lockdown was to improve the facilities for young sailors, and persuading a local firm to buy new training sails for all the club Optimists. The fleet of boats with their new rigs made an impact during the Platinum Jubilee celebrations.
Richard’s passion is the club, and his kind nature inspires others. He always offered his services as safety helm and got involved with maintenance and building projects. More recently, even when seriously ill, he has spent hours keeping on top of the grass cutting and cleaning, and encouraging visiting cruisers, making them feel welcome.
RYA Director pays tribute
RYA Director of Sport Development Rob Clark paid tribute to the enormous impact that volunteers have in sailing and boating communities.
“It’s always so inspiring to hear of the amazing work that is happening every day, up and down the country, by volunteers right at the heart of our sport,” Rob explained.
“Whether it’s encouraging newcomers to give it a try, looking after facilities so people can get afloat safely, running weekend racing, or fundraising for equipment so more people can be introduced to the joys of being on the water – there really is a rewarding role for everyone in our communities, from teenager to octogenarian!”
“Our sport relies so much on the goodwill and skills of volunteers at every level, without whom the opportunities to get involved in boating would be greatly reduced,” said RYA CEO Sara Sutcliffe MBE.
“They are very often the first point of contact for new participants across the nations and regions, and can help to motivate a lifetime’s interest, or inspire others to train for fulfilling careers across the marine industry.
“It’s so humbling to hear of the many examples of selfless commitment our award recipients have shown – in many cases spanning decades – and they represent many thousands more who give their time to support boating in whatever way, great or small. Our grateful thanks go to them all.”
Start your volunteering journey
Volunteers form the core of RYA and club initiatives, offering rewarding opportunities and assisting others to experience the water’s numerous benefits.
With various volunteering options available, dedicating even a small amount of your time can create a significant impact. Join us and make a difference today.
Beccles Amateur Sailing Club
Find out more about Beccles Amateur Sailing Club here.
For more information about how to get out on the water in the East Region, visit www.rya.org.uk/startboating.