RYA Cymru Wales blog – September 2023

RYA Cymru Wales CEO James Stuart smiling on shore holding up a wing with the sea in the background.

As the season changes to autumn, all of us on the RYA Cymru Wales team are busy getting set for The Big Weekend!

It’s an exciting time for our sport/s and as many of you will be aware from following us at RYA Cymru Wales or on Facebook, the headline themes for our get-together will provide opportunities to Explore, Experiment, Equip ourselves for the future.

Please do take a look at what’s on at The Big Weekend and join us at Plas Menai National Outdoor Centre over the weekend of 14-15 October 2023.

You are welcome to sign up for one or both days and we have a whole variety of fun and informative sessions lined up. Practical workshops ashore and afloat will give you lots of ideas and learning to take away to your club or centre, whether you’re an instructor or involved in running activities as a volunteer or member of staff.

Thanks to support from Sport Wales – alongside our Green Scheme enabling delegates to claim back travel costs if they car share or use public transport – hopefully you will find this event affordable and accessible. Book your ticket and come along!

Have your say!

The Big Weekend precedes the beginning of a new five year strategic cycle, so we feel that this event is an ideal opportunity to share our draft plan for 2024-2029 and invite your views on it.

Following on from The Big Weekend, there will then be six weeks when you will be able to reflect on our proposed plan and to let us know what you think. It is really important to us that to know what you think, what do you like and what you aren’t so sure about. We’ll be gathering these views on line and will then revisit the plan prior to final publication early in the New Year.

Impact awards

What we do know is that whatever the future holds, it will be based on the platform provided our incredible network of clubs and training centres across Wales, and our fantastic volunteers and staff, instructors and coaches.

The success of our sport from the grassroots upwards is built on that phenomenal foundation and so I’m proud to announced that we will also be launching at The Big Weekend our all-new RYA Cymru Wales Impact Awards.

Our team at RYA Cymru Wales aims to support and encourage clubs and centres to flourish and thrive, and a key part of doing so is recognition. These awards will be timely – with recipients announced every other month – and wide-ranging. The criteria will be how does an individual, organisation or project stand out from their peer group? An award may go, for example, to an instructor or race official, or to a whole club or centre.

I’m hoping we’ll be able to shine a light on some of the achievements not always picked up by other awards. Nominations will open on the 14th of October with the first round recipients announced early in January.

The Big Weekend – along with the launch of our new strategic plan and Impact Awards – comes at a key moment in time as we set ourselves up for the future.

I’m looking forward to all of us sharing that journey.



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