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Chris 249 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Chris 249 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Jan 19 at 4:50am
Originally posted by JimC

Originally posted by Chris 249

If the person is not a sailor, how will they really understand the grass roots sailors and their needs and desires?

Well, that's sounds good, until you consider that by that logic they also need to be a cruiser, a powerboater, a potterer in canals, and all the other things the RYA represents.

I was once at the RYA and happened to pick up an internal phone directory, and it was instructive how varied the work of the RYAs staff is. There really aren't that many, outside the ring fenced externally funded Olympic/squad staff, who are involved with dinghy racing for instance.

The RYA put the most popular three areas of member interest as yacht cruising and dinghy racing (40,000 and 12,000 members respectively) and motor boating (15,000) so there seems likely to be a fairly solid majority of sailors.

I'd also think it's likely that, as Sam says, if you are active in any one area you are more likely to recognise the importance of grass roots activity in other areas of boating than if you came from a completely different background.

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The history and design of the racing dinghy.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote ttc546 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Jan 19 at 6:24pm
A "strategist" does not necessarily need to know the base level of the sport (or business). Strategy is at a much broader level than the detail that you all describe. Strategists can draw on people who have the detail and grass roots expertise, but not need to have direct exposure to it. This is why, very often, and especially so in business, it is quite common for these types of roles to be fulfilled by people who have little exposure to that particular space. Their expertise is driving a concept wider than that. One of the problems of promoting someone from the grass roots dinghy/yachting/motor boating arena is that they will have their own ideas entrenched in traditional thinking. To use a term I hate, people who think "out of the box" are what is often required for this type of role. So dont dismiss anyone who comes from "outside". Great if someone has the sport experience and is a strategist, but it isnt always the case or necessarily desired.

Edited by ttc546 - 11 Jan 19 at 6:25pm
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Post Options Post Options   Quote 423zero Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Jan 19 at 6:42pm
Would be interesting to know how they will measure their success, might not be increased participation across boating, could be maintaining financial stability with reducing participation.

Edited by 423zero - 11 Jan 19 at 6:43pm
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Sam.Spoons Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Jan 19 at 9:18pm
This ^ is what happens when you bring commerce into the running of sport....
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Post Options Post Options   Quote getafix Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Jan 19 at 1:21pm
Originally posted by ttc546

A "strategist" does not necessarily need to know the base level of the sport (or business). Strategy is at a much broader level than the detail that you all describe. Strategists can draw on people who have the detail and grass roots expertise, but not need to have direct exposure to it. This is why, very often, and especially so in business, it is quite common for these types of roles to be fulfilled by people who have little exposure to that particular space. Their expertise is driving a concept wider than that. One of the problems of promoting someone from the grass roots dinghy/yachting/motor boating arena is that they will have their own ideas entrenched in traditional thinking. To use a term I hate, people who think "out of the box" are what is often required for this type of role. So dont dismiss anyone who comes from "outside". Great if someone has the sport experience and is a strategist, but it isnt always the case or necessarily desired.

An excellent point, well made.  Expertise is far more important than hobbies in this case IMO.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Sam.Spoons Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Jan 19 at 2:04pm
To me that is the whole point, bringing business practices into running amateur sport is, almost universally, a very bad thing, taking part becomes more expensive, volunteering stops being part of the culture and participation declines. For the vast majority of those who matter sailing is a hobby and not a business.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Rupert Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Jan 19 at 3:59pm
It doesn't say it has to be their hobby, it simply mentions a passing interest, and how that might be vaguely beneficial.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote iGRF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Jan 19 at 4:45pm
Originally posted by getafix


Originally posted by ttc546


A "strategist" does not necessarily need to know the base level of the sport (or business). Strategy is at a much broader level than the detail that you all describe. Strategists can draw on people who have the detail and grass roots expertise, but not need to have direct exposure to it. This is why, very often, and especially so in business, it is quite common for these types of roles to be fulfilled by people who have little exposure to that particular space. Their expertise is driving a concept wider than that. One of the problems of promoting someone from the grass roots dinghy/yachting/motor boating arena is that they will have their own ideas entrenched in traditional thinking. To use a term I hate, people who think "out of the box" are what is often required for this type of role. So dont dismiss anyone who comes from "outside". Great if someone has the sport experience and is a strategist, but it isnt always the case or necessarily desired.

An excellent point, well made.  Expertise is far more important than hobbies in this case IMO.

As true as this maybe in the real world of commerce, time and again it's proven the corporate rules and governance when applied to niche sectors result in horrendous failure, I could site brand after brand where this has occurred. Like it or not we are a niche activity and to create an ongoing strategy for something as tiny as the RYA in the greater scheme of things, that strategist at least has to have his or her feet in that world.

They've missed several opportunities recently, Kitesport, Stand Up Paddlesport to name two that could have benefitted both parties and half the reason for that is their previous failure to keep the hearts and minds of previous sports in that sector.

The RYA strategy should be all things water related if they wish to continue to act as the placebo in place of whitehall meddling.

Edited by iGRF - 13 Jan 19 at 4:50pm
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Post Options Post Options   Quote ttc546 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Jan 19 at 4:54pm
Originally posted by Sam.Spoons

To me that is the whole point, bringing business practices into running amateur sport is, almost universally, a very bad thing, taking part becomes more expensive, volunteering stops being part of the culture and participation declines. For the vast majority of those who matter sailing is a hobby and not a business.

We are long gone being an amateur, hobbyist Corinthian sport. Yes, it exists at club levels, but not at the higher levels of yachting, Olympics and other areas. Our august governing body needs to cater for both, and that means being professional, commercial and business-like. Sailing (and related nautical activities) requires professionals with business skills - not hobbyists anymore. If you dont think its now a business at many levels, you are dreaming of past glories of the 70's 

We need to grow up. Stop being amateur. Other activities are competing for our leisure time and that means we need to be more aggressive and business-like.

Our governing body needs business professionals who understand how to take something small and make it great again - not hobbyists with limited realm and knowledge. We will die (as a sport) otherwise. 




Edited by ttc546 - 13 Jan 19 at 5:12pm
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Post Options Post Options   Quote giraffe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Jan 19 at 5:13pm
Sailing is not niche. There are very few niches. Ask a man at the bus stop what sailing is and he can describe it quite accurately. The game is in making more people get experience of sailing - normally they can achieve this close to home, and to then get them to committing to returning. There is no point marketing the sport to those who do it regularly, we should be seeking to broaden the appeal. There are more people to chase who have not done the sport than those that already have.

A\the sport could clearly benefit from an external perspective, as could the non-sporting aspects. It is easy to forget that the RYA is the authority for sport and recreational boating in the UK. Maybe they should be separate, but they are not.

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