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Last chance to nominate for the 2019 RYA Volunteer Awards

by Becky Gilbert-Wood, RYA 23 Mar 16:00 GMT
2018 RYA Volunteer Award recipients © Paul Wyeth

The RYA are inviting nominations for the 2019 RYA Volunteer Awards.

Last year, more than 6.3 million* adults gave their time to make sport and activity happen in the UK. Volunteers are the backbone of sailing clubs and the wider boating community, with thousands up and down the country giving up their time and resource each year but how do we say thank you?

Every year, the RYA Volunteer Awards recognise the outstanding contribution made by volunteers throughout the UK. Not only rewarding the longest-standing volunteers but also families, committed youngsters and most importantly, those that have had an impact.

The awards are presented across four categories: the RYA Awards, the RYA Community Awards, the Francis Elkin Award and the Family Award.

  • RYA Awards - recognising services to boating and the RYA at a regional or national level.
  • RYA Family Award presented to a family group deserving of recognition for the impact they have made both individually and collectively.
  • Francis Elkin Award awarded to individuals that have made a significant contribution in enabling people with disabilities to become involved with sailing.
  • RYA Community Award presented across three categories for services at club or grass roots level; lifetime commitment, outstanding contribution and youth.
Last year, 19-year-old lifelong sailor, Poppy Penhaul-Smith was one of more than 50 volunteers recognised at the RYA Volunteer Awards presentation in London.

"Winning the award was a bit of a shock. I wasn't expecting it, but it's really nice to know how valued you are and how much my club know I help out. It's also nice to know that the RYA recognises the time and effort we all put into the volunteering and teaching aspects of sailing," explains Poppy.

"I think more young people should win and attend these awards, as it would show how diverse the sailing, teaching and volunteering worlds are. This would be more representative of the sport's demographic and acknowledge a wider group of people."

RYA Programmes Manager, Michelle Gent added: "There are thousands of volunteers all over the UK dedicating their time and expertise and not expecting anything in return. Whether it's mowing the lawn, making those all-important cups of tea, helming the safety boat or just getting stuck in wherever you're needed it all counts.

"Not only are the RYA Volunteer Awards a brilliant opportunity to say thank you to your volunteers, but they can also shine a spotlight on the fantastic work that goes on at a regional and national level. We want to thank everyone that contributes their time to allow others to get out on-the-water."

All of the award winners and their guests will be invited to a special presentation ceremony and luncheon in London in November.

Nominations must be from an RYA affiliated club, centre, association or region and close on Friday 05 April. To find out more about the award categories and nomination criteria visit rya.org.uk/go/volunteerawards.

*Sport England's Active Lives Survey 2018.

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