As we reach the close of one year and look to the opening of a new one, we have many things to celebrate alongside a period of planning for what lies ahead.
The next generation has been inspired with events ranging from OnBoard Festivals and the Dragon Series to the RYA Cymru Wales Youth & Junior Championships, and we’ve seen great results from all ages flying the Welsh flag nationally and internationally!
There has also been lots of learning and development and giving new things a go, whether through courses for instructors, coaches and race officials, or events like Ffin a Ffoil, and The Big Weekend, which brought together our incredible network of clubs and centres.
An exciting programme is now planned for 2024, which we’ll be augmenting with Together on Water sessions to provide even more opportunities. We hope to encourage various activities alongside the Dragon Series, for example, such as winging and foiling and access dinghies for Sailability. We’re also working on a Swim Safe project.
Five year strategy
Supporting our aim to encourage more people to enjoy our beautiful waters, more often, we welcomed in 2023 our new Events Officer, Sam Thomas. Together with the preparation of our draft five-year strategy for 2024-2029, our sights are now firmly set on strengthening the foundations of our sport for future.
The public consultation for the draft RYA Cymru Wales Strategy closes at midnight on Tuesday 12 December 2023, so if you haven’t yet had a look at it, please do as we’d love to know your views before finalising it for publication in the New Year.
The feedback so far has been positive and constructive. Personally, I’m really excited about our strategy themes because these will give us a clarity of purpose, not only for us as a national governing body but also for clubs and centres and all those involved in providing activities on the water and driving participation in Wales.
Our sport relies on the enthusiasm of individuals and organisations who create priceless opportunities for others to enjoy getting on the water and as we reach the end of the year, it is a good moment to say a heartfelt thank you to all who give back to the sport.
It was pleasing to see three dedicated Welsh club members in the RYA Volunteer Awards – Julian Bridges, Jacob Knock and Mark Govier. We are very much looking forward to announcing the first recipients of our own RYA Cymru Wales Impact Awards in January 2024.
Please do take some time as you reflect on your own year on the water, to think about those who go the extra mile and consider whether you would like to show your appreciation by submitting an RYA Cymru Wales Impact Award nomination for a member of staff or a volunteer, an instructor or coach, or a club, class or association.
Whether you are involved in supporting activities afloat in Wales or have had a wonderful season taking part, I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.