The Royal Yachting Association awards were recently presented at an event in Westminster, London in recognition of boating’s most dedicated volunteers.
Held on Friday 24 November, the RYA Volunteer awards evening consisted of 58 awards in total, which were presented by Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal.
Prior to the awards ceremony, Her Royal Highness was presented with a pair of marine binoculars by RYA CEO Sarah Treseder, on behalf of the RYA’s members to mark her 30th year as president of the RYA.
Among those receiving RYA Volunteer Awards were three members of Ulley Sailing Club in South Yorkshire, with Lifetime Commitment awards for Stephen Butler and David Rowlands, and a Regional award for David Staniforth. There was also a Lifetime Commitment award for Susan Haigh, of Green Withens Watersports Centre for West Yorkshire Scouts.
Stephen Butler: RYA Community Award – Lifetime Commitment
Stephen, a retired steel industry scientist from Rotherham, has served in a variety of committee roles since joining Ulley SC more than 25 years ago and has also been a keen advocate for youth sailing. He said: “It has been very satisfying and enjoyable to have been part of the team that enables people of all ages from all backgrounds to enjoy dinghy sailing at Ulley.”
David Rowlands: RYA Community Award – Lifetime Commitment
David, aged 70, is a retired steel industry metallurgist from Sheffield and a member of Ulley SC. He has used his technical know-how to support the International GP14 Class Association, which represents the class of dinghy he sails, since 1976, including serving as Vice President, Treasurer and President. He is currently chairman of the Technical and Rules Committee.
David Staniforth: RYA Award – Regional
A retired technology teacher from Rotherham, David has served in a number of key committee roles at Ulley SC and also as chair of the RYA’s Regional Committee. He sails an Enterprise dinghy and is the Area Representative of the class, and is a keen supporter of youth sailing: “I can’t think of another sport where you get this mix of generations all working on a level and that also includes boys and girls. I think it’s a great sport.”
Susan Haigh: RYA Community Award – Lifetime Commitment
Susan, a retired teacher from Huddersfield, volunteered to take on the roles of Booking Secretary and Treasurer of Huddersfield Scout Sailing in 1972 and today at Green Withens Watersports Centre still looks after the bookings and finances. The Golcar Guides leader is also an RYA instructor and first aider and Sailability Disability Awareness Trainer, and co-ordinator of Green Withens OnBoard club for juniors, finding it rewarding to see children developing life skills through the sport: “It expands their Scouting and Guiding and they get a lot out of their sailing.”
RYA Director of Sport Development, Alistair Dickson said: “Volunteers are the lifeblood of our sport. It has been an excellent opportunity to celebrate the fantastic work our volunteers do to support boating activity in all forms throughout the UK.
“All of the stories behind these special people have been truly inspiring to hear and it’s really an honour to be able to say thank you and celebrate their amazing achievements.”
Nominations are now invited for the 2018 RYA Volunteer Awards. Click HERE for more information.