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Gold medallists relaunch RYA Club of the Year

by Susie Nation-Grainger, RYA 16 Sep 2016 22:33 BST 16 September 2016
Rio 2016 Gold Medallists Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark officially relaunched the RYA Club of the Year Award at the Southampton Boat Show © Emily Whiting

Rio 2016 Gold Medallists Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark officially relaunched the RYA Club of the Year Award at the Southampton Boat Show today.

Introduced in 2007, this prestigious annual award has recognised and promoted the outstanding achievements of clubs across the UK and now, almost ten years on, it's been reviewed and updated to reflect the changing environment in which clubs are operating.

"We're really excited about the changes we've made to RYA Club of the Year Award" said RYA Club Support Advisor Jackie Bennetts. "In recent years we've learnt more about why people take up the sport, how they participate and what they like about their clubs.

"We believe the Award will now better recognise the individual projects and activities run by clubs that attract people to take to the water and continue to enjoy sailing regularly".

RYA Club of the Year Award will now be presented in five brand new categories:

  • Innovation - recognising a club initiative that makes a break from traditional ways of running a club or traditional ways of running boating activity.

  • Inclusivity – aims to identify a club project which has been impactful in developing participation amongst people with disabilities or from other under-represented or disadvantaged groups

  • Facility Development – where a club has undertaken facility developments and has been creative and resourceful in the design, minimised environmental impact and shown innovation in securing funding and provision of club facilities

  • Increasing Participation – acknowledging a club that has delivered the most impactful participation project, the outcomes of which are attracting and retaining new participants and growing their membership

  • Communications – a club that has embraced the use of modern communications, e.g. social media platforms or who have been proactive and forward thinking in their communications and marketing using websites and local media.

Saskia Clark said: "It's fantastic to be here today to relaunch the RYA Club of the Year Award. Both Hannah and I wouldn't be where we are today had we not been members of our local clubs so it's so important that we continue to recognise the achievements of the clubs which keep our sport alive".

The RYA Honours and Awards Panel will select five finalist clubs, one from each of the categories. The overall winner will be selected from these five and will be announced at the RYA Suzuki Dinghy Show in March.

If you think your club is one of the best in the UK complete an application form by 31st October 2016. For more information and to download the application form go to www.rya.org.uk/go/cluboftheyear

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