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RYA and Yachts & Yachting Club of the Year 2020 applications now open

by Helen Skelton-Smith 1 Aug 2019 18:00 BST
Winner Royal Torbay Yacht Club © Paul Wyeth

The RYA is pleased to announce that applications are now open for the RYA and Yachts & Yachting Club of the Year Awards 2020, supported by Gallagher.

The Club of the Year Awards recognise the outstanding achievement of sailing clubs across the UK. This annual award recognises and promotes the hard work which goes into making sailing clubs successful. All 1000 sailing clubs from across the UK are eligible to apply, and ultimately take advantage of, and share examples of best practice within the sailing community.

The RYA Awards Panel will select a finalist for each of the 10 RYA regions and Home Counties, as well as two 'wild card' entries. During this shortlisting stage, the panel will provide five clubs with recognition for particular achievements in the following five areas:

'Boosting membership' - a recognition for a club that has delivered the most impactful participation project, the outcomes of which are, attracting and retaining new participants and growing their membership;

'Innovative and forward thinking' - a recognition for a club who makes a break from traditional ways of running a club or delivering boating activity. This could be delivering activities at different times of the week, day or year, or organising different formats of training or racing to engage with new participants, etc.;

'Inclusive and open to all' - a recognition for a club or project which has been impactful in developing participation amongst people with disabilities or from other under-represented or disadvantaged groups;

'Fantastic facilities' - a recognition for a club who has undertaken facility developments and has been creative and resourceful in the design, minimised environmental impact, and/or shown innovation in securing funding and provision of club facilities

'Embracing modern communications' - a recognition for 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, local press, radio etc.

All finalist clubs will then go through to a public vote, with the overall winner selected by RYA members, Yachts & Yachting readers and the panel. The 2020 Club of the Year will be announced at the RYA Dinghy Show (29 February - 1 March 2020).

RYA director of sport development Alistair Dickson said: "The RYA and Yachts & Yachting Club of the Year Awards are a fantastic way for us here at the RYA to recognise the many clubs that do such an amazing job of making it possible for so people to enjoy time out on the water. It doesn't matter whether your club is big or small, based inland or at the coast, the awards are a superb way for all clubs to share best practice and remind your club members just how far you've come. With 12 finalist spots and five recognitions up for grabs, there's plenty of opportunity to get involved and to focus your application around something you're really proud of. With the continued support from Yachts & Yachting, the Club of the Year award goes from strength to strength each year."

On winning the 2019 Club of the Year, Adrian Peach, Commodore from Royal Torbay Yacht Club commented: "This award means such a lot to us as a club because we are a club of volunteers and, as volunteers, it's really nice to have the recognition that this award brings. Whilst the award is fantastic, there are five categories which help you to focus on something you've done really well and can lead to a lot of positively in your club. My advice to clubs is to just enter: check the criteria and do it!"

Sue Nash, Commodore at Dell Quay Sailing Club and 2019 South region finalist, added: "We entered as a way of gaining recognition for those who make our club what it is today - a way of saying thank you. Whether you win or not, to be a finalist is rewarding in itself."

Club applications are now open and close on 20 September 2019. For more information and to complete an application form visit: rya.org.uk/go/cluboftheyear

Love Boating? Then why not join the association that promotes and protects, safe, successful and rewarding British boating. Join today and support the RYA in protecting your boating rights and freedoms. Take advantage of free advice and support on all aspects of your boating, as well as enjoying a range of fantastic personal member offers. Find out more by calling 02380 604 159, email or visit rya.org.uk

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