UYC was a finalist in the prestigious RYA Awards in the ‘Increasing Participation’ category. Club officials, Sailing Secretary Julie Archer, Ullswater Sailing School Principal David Clarke and Membership Secretary Clare Clarke were invited to the Dinghy Show and were presented with the ‘Increasing Participation’ award by Ben Saxton of the British Sailing Team. Then along with the other four final clubs they had to wait to see whether we had won the big one, the enormous Club of the Year Trophy. To the cheers and delight of other club members who had gone along to lend support, UYC was announced RYA Club of the Year 2017.
The awards were split into five categories: Innovation, Inclusivity, Facility Development. Increasing Participation and Communications. The RYA Honours and Awards Panel selected five finalist clubs, one from each of the categories. Sailing Secretary Julie Archer put in all the hard work on the club submission. Julie’s winning submission highlighted the efforts that have gone on over the past year into getting newcomers to sailing on the water and encouraging new members to join the club including:
Penrith Show: 200 people (68 families) to the stand, to try shore sailing, find out about the club and give their contact details.
I am Team GB Day: In August in celebration of the Rio Olympics we delivered more than 500 half hour taster sessions. Over 1,000 people visited the site; one family joined on the day and approximately 70 people signed up to the Go Sailing project.
Go Sailing sessions for adults: Started in September 2016, by the end of week one it was fully booked and at the end of the first 8 scheduled sessions 54 people had attended once, 34 people have completed 6 x 2 hour sessions and the next six sessions for 2017 are almost fully booked.
The RYA award announcement said: “Beating off stiff competition, the Lake District club were selected as the overall winner by the RYA Awards Panel and were specifically recognised for their efforts in increasing participation. Having started 2016 deep in flood water, the club members rallied together making a huge effort to get up and running for the start of the season. Successful marketing and publicity made sure the club was more visible than ever, attracting new members and novice sailors to a taster sessions, sailing courses and children’s summer clubs and activities. Ullswater YC also ran an ‘I am Team GB’ event which saw over 500 people get out on the water.”
David Clarke, said: “It’s just fantastic. All the work that our volunteers have done from the clubhouse being restored, to the taster sessions and so many visitors at the ‘I am Team GB’ event - this is the icing on the cake!”
Commodore Peter Lewis added: “The Club of the Year award is a tremendous accolade won against tough opposition and reflects the tremendous efforts of our volunteers and members over the last few years to make UYC the Top Club in the Country. Our volunteering spirit, built on a family friendly atmosphere, is what makes UYC so special and it is great that this has been recognised by the awards panel.”
Other finalists were:
The Innovation Award was presented to the Heart of England Offshore Cruising Association which enables people in the Midlands who love sailing offshore, to stay connected to their passion despite living so far from the sea.
Rudyard Lake Sailing Club was recognised for achievements in Communications. The club has excelled in embracing digital and more traditional media to better connect and communicate with people, while introducing new activities to create a powerful support network for novices to improve their skills.
Tees and Hartlepool Yacht Club, won the Inclusivity Category, having worked effectively with their local authority to raise awareness of sailing and to provide accessible opportunities for all. The club has ensured that anyone, from any walk of life is able to experience the joys of sailing.
Whitefriars Sailing Club, in Gloucestershire, won the Facility Development Category for their project to build a brand new training barn.
- UYC was voted Yachts and Yachting magazine’s Club of the Year 2017 in January and the trophy was presented at the London Boat Show (Sue Giles 5.3.17)
Pictures by Tim Olin and Andrew Bailey