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2006 RYA Instructors awarded at RYA Dinghy Sailing Show

by Helen Jeffreys, RYA 8 Mar 2006 20:45 GMT

Britain’s best instructors, coaches and trainers were recognised at the RYA Coach and Instructor of the Year Awards at the RYA Dinghy Sailing Show, Alexandra Palace last weekend (Saturday 4 March). The Awards recognise those who have shown outstanding commitment, skill and hard work in training others.

The RYA introduced these prestigious awards to acknowledge the importance of instructors and coaches within the sailing community. Hosted by David Ritchie, RYA National Sailing Coach and presented by Eddie Ramsden, RYA Chairman, eleven individuals from all aspects of boating, from powerboating and dinghy sailing to windsurfing, were recognised.

David Mckay from East Kilbride Sailing Club received the Windsurfing Instructor of the Year Award. As a college Lecturer in Sport and Fitness as well as a windsurfing coach for eight years, David brings a wealth of coaching expertise to the world of windsurfing. The second windsurfing award was presented to Mark Brooks. Mark recently led his team to victory at the first ever T15 National Championships. For his hard work, support and dedication to the T15 youth initiative, the Hythe Hotshots captain received the Windsurfing T15 Award.

Inland Waterways, Powerboat and Personal Watercraft Instructor of the Year Awards were presented to Peter Hill, Samantha Clarke and Glen Mallen respectively. Working at a busy school on the River Thames “Putney Pete”, as he is affectionately known, can be found out on the water teaching powerboating most days of the week. Sam started her boating career at the tender age of three and teaches with a confidence gained through a solid understanding of both narrow boats and the canal system. Popular with both fellow instructors and students alike, Glen has a huge nautical knowledge gained from many years experience training on a wide variety of craft.

Joint winners of the Senior Instructor of the Year Award were Elsa Chance and Garth Webster. Elsa stepped into the role at Helford River Children’s Sailing Trust at 24 hours notice and has since proved invaluable. Throughout Garth’s lengthy career he has remained committed to providing courses of a high standard whilst also promoting the RYA to the public, pupils and new instructors under his supervision. From Rutland, Leicestershire, Garth’s particular strength is the easy manner in which he can build the confidence of even the most apprehensive of students.

Jerry Blyth from Herefordshire was awarded the Powerboat Trainer of the Year and Candi Abbot from Poole received the Personal Water Craft Trainer of the Year Award. As a key player in the success of the Inland Waterways scheme, Jerry has helped guide many new schools through the inspection process whilst also providing a high level of advice and support to existing schools. Candi is one of the RYA’s true ambassadors for the promotion of the Personal Watercraft training scheme. As well as training instructors and mentoring new trainers in the early stages of their roles Candi also finds time to encourage novices into the sport.

Although David Hickman from Devon only become a qualified Centre Inspector in 2005, he has already impressed colleagues with the added value he has added to the inspections by offering a high level of technical advice and support to Training Centres. In recognition of David’s work, he was presented with the Centre Inspector of the Year Award.

Simon Horsfield, based in Germany, provided an international flavour to the awards ceremony as he accepted the Coach/Assessor of the Year Award. As the Area Coach for Germany he has dramatically improved the number, diversity and professionalism of courses being delivered in the country.

Nominated be colleagues, centres, clubs and regions, the winners received a trophy and prize donated by Greatkit.

List of Winners

Power
Powerboat Instructor of the Year – Peter Hill
Powerboat Trainer of the Year – Jerry Blyth
Inland Waterways Helmsman Instructor of the Year – Sam Clarke
Personal Watercraft Instructor of the Year – Glen Mallen
Personal Watercraft Trainer of the Year – Candice Abbott

Dinghy Training
Centre Inspector of the Year – David Hickman
Dinghy Coach/Assessor of the Year – Simon Horsfield
Senior Instructor of the Year – Garth Webster
Senior Instructor of the Year – Elsa Chance

Windsurfing
Windsurfing Instructor of the Year – Mark McKay
Windsurfing T15 Award – Mark Brooks

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