Please select your home edition
Edition
YY.com app (top)

Dedicated young people celebrated at RYA Northern Ireland Youth Forum event

by Emma Blee 20 Apr 13:46 BST
RYA Northern Ireland Youth Forum 2019 © RYA Northern Ireland

A group of inspirational young leaders who took part in RYA Northern Ireland's Youth Forum have come together for a celebration event, marking the progress they have made during an extraordinary year.

RYA Northern Ireland's Youth Forum began in 2019 as a pilot project and was a partnership with the Northern Ireland Youth Forum.

The first of its kind within the RYA, clubs across Northern Ireland were represented with young people signing up to develop leadership and personal development skills to help future proof the sport for years to come.

Throughout the year, RYA Northern Ireland brought the young people together, consulted with them on their opinions about the sport, listened to their voices and acted on their feedback.

Former Chair of RYA Northern Ireland, Jackie Patton led the project. She explains: "In order to future proof our clubs we need to get a younger age group to engage, commit and see something of value. They also need to know that they have a voice within their club and the sport and that their opinion matters."

Jackie adds: "After working closely with our Youth Forum for a year, we now have a group of young people committed to RYA. They have more knowledge and understanding of the organisation and will share their learning in many settings, such as school.

"The young people have brought many new ideas, which we wouldn't have known about before. If they are supported, these young people are the future Commodores, Board members, Race Officers of our sport.

"They have demonstrated a commitment to their sport, despite a world-wide pandemic and have have gained new skills and are more confident. These are skills for life."

At the celebration event, many people turned out to give their support and thanks to the Youth Forum. This included the Chair of RYA, the RYA Northern Ireland Chair, RYA Northern Ireland's Chief Operating Officer, RYA Northern Ireland Board Members and staff members, the Deputy Director of the Northern Ireland Youth Forum and other staff members, as well as the Youth Development Officer from Ulster Hockey and the family of many of the RYA Northern Ireland Youth Forum members.

During the event, which was led by Jackie Patton and the Youth Forum members, the young people talked about their experience, showed a video and some 'jam boards' which highlighted all of their feedback as participants of the Forum.

Talking about her experience, Youth Forum member Abbie Brown, commented: "The Youth Forum has benefited me as it allows youths to have ideas. It is clear that when they work with adults who listen, great things happen.

"It has given the me the confidence in expressing my voice and option. In addition it has shown me on how to take constructive criticism."

A highlight of the event was a presentation ceremony by the Northern Ireland Youth Forum. The young people were praised for their hard work and dedication and awarded a certificate.

Commenting on the progress the Youth Forum members made throughout the year, Paul Dynes from the Northern Ireland Youth Forum, said: "The members of the RYA Northern Ireland Youth Forum are inspirational. Their commitment, motivation and desire to make a positive impact on their organisations is to be celebrated and praised."

Looking ahead to the future, Jackie Patton is hopeful that the skills that the young people have developed through the Youth Forum, will serve them well for years to come. She comments: "No matter what happens now or in the future the young people should be proud of what has been achieved within this leadership programme, the first of its kind in our sport.

"I hope they will take all that they have learned and put it into practice in their Clubs. It is an ambition to have created young ambassadors for our sport, and that they will keep connections as they go through life."

She concludes: "As a young person, I never believed I would be Chair of RYA Northern Ireland, or even sit on a Committee, but it happened. I hope our young people will see that such positions are available to them and so much more besides if they choose. This will be the measure of success. I am grateful to the Northern Ireland Youth Forum in Belfast and its professional youth work team who helped us make it happen."

Related Articles

RYA NI Youth Championships at Carrickfergus
More than 137 sailors took to the water Excitement was in the air at Carrickfergus Sailing Club as more than 137 of Northern Ireland's Youth and Junior sailors took to the water to compete in the RYA Northern Ireland Youth Championships. Posted on 1 Oct
First session of RYA Northern Ireland Youth Forum
Enthusiastic young sailors take part at Ballyholme Yacht Club A group of enthusiastic young sailors have come together for the first meeting of RYA Northern Ireland's Youth Forum at Ballyholme Yacht Club. Posted on 1 Oct
RYA Northern Ireland Youth Championships
137 youth and junior sailors take part at Carrickfergus Excitement was in the air at Carrickfergus Sailing Club this weekend as more than 137 of Northern Ireland's Youth and Junior sailors took to the water to compete in the RYA Northern Ireland Youth Championships. Posted on 14 Sep
Surprise awards for Ballyholme YC volunteer
Kate Pounder is celebrating after she received two prestigious awards Ballyholme's Kate Pounder is celebrating after she received two prestigious awards recognising her dedication to sailing and boating. Posted on 29 Aug
Ryan Seaton retires from sailing
Almost 30 years of sailing for the two-time Olympic sailor Two-time Olympic sailor Ryan Seaton has announced his retirement after almost 30 years of competing. Seaton, who is originally from Carrickfergus, represented Ireland at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London in the 49er alongside Matt McGovern. Posted on 29 May
RYA Northern Ireland return to sport update
A return to racing from 23 April, albeit with numbers restricted to 100 RYA Northern Ireland has updated its Return to Boating webpage with all relevant guidance for clubs, centres and participants. Posted on 23 Apr
RYA Northern Ireland - Return to sport update
We still await the issuing of the regulations and guidance from the department Restrictions for outdoor activity are set to ease from 1 April 2021. This is very welcome news and follows on from engagement with the Minister of Communities, who has continued to be an advocate for sport and outdoor activity. Posted on 26 Mar
Northern Ireland sailors battling for final spots
At the Tokyo 2021 Olympic Games Three Northern Ireland sailors are all battling for a place at the Olympic Games with qualification events taking place in the next few weeks. Posted on 22 Mar
RYA NI seeks clarity on red diesel implications
or recreational boaters in Northern Ireland Hundreds of recreational boat owners in Northern Ireland could be affected by an HM Treasury decision outlining that from June they will be required to use white diesel instead of red. Posted on 6 Mar
RYA NI calls for re-opening of sailing and boating
Activity can readily comply with social distancing & contributes positively to health & well-being The RYANI wrote to the NI Executive on 11 February highlighting that sailing and boating activity can readily comply with social distancing and contributes positively to health and well-being. Posted on 4 Mar