Scots Honoured at RYA Volunteer Awards

HRH The Princess Royal, President of the RYA, presented a number of the RYA’s most prestigious awards to sailors and volunteers from across the country, including several from Scotland, as part of the 2017 RYA Volunteer Award winners.

All of the deserved nominations were recognised with an Award at the RYA’s annual awards ceremony held in London. The RYA Volunteer Awards are considered the ‘MBEs’ of the sport, honouring people for their exceptional generosity and commitment to boating. The recipients were nominated by their clubs and selected by the RYA Honours and Awards Panel.

The RYA Community Award winners included five individuals from Scotland with four receiving the Lifetime Commitment Award and one for Outstanding Commitment for their contribution to boating at grassroots level.

The Lifetime Commitment Award was presented to individuals who have shown exceptional commitment and dedication to their club or organisation for at least 15 years, including:

Peter Drumm of Aberdour Boat Club

Peter joined Aberdour Boat Club (ABC) in the early 1970s. He served on the committee, acted as Treasurer and then became Commodore. He also served five years as Aberdour’s harbourmaster.

His training as a journalist made him a knowledgeable and entertaining editor of the club newsletter, and he was in charge of the club archive. He published two books about Aberdour’s maritime past, as well as a history of the club and a collection of amusing club anecdotes.

A practical man, he maintained the club rescue/workboat for many years and when a major refit became necessary he headed a team that worked tirelessly to restore it. Over the years many club members have requested his assistance and advice and he has been a helpful and knowledgeable friend to all.

Peter has been a loyal and valued member of ABC, which has greatly benefitted from his extensive knowledge of boats and the sea.

Kirsty Brunton of Dalgety Bay Sailing Club
Kirsty has made an outstanding contribution to the Dalgety Bay Sailing Club (DBSC), delivering and managing training activity for 23 years.

She has been Principal or Chief Instructor of the training centre for 13 years, and also served as Training Coordinator, Rear Commodore Training and Commodore on the Management Committee. She has been a mainstay of DBSC’s training operation since she was 18, giving up hours of her spare time and holidays to instruct at weekly sessions and the annual Youth Week.

Her exceptional contribution is even greater, given that she has to overcome the challenge of mobility difficulties. Kirsty is valued by all members of the DBSC training team for her organisational skills, her calmness, her passion and dedication to training.

Roger Hancock Loch Lomond Sailing Club

Roger has long been at the heart of Loch Lomond Sailing Club. Serving on the committee in several roles including Commodore and Treasurer, his stewardship of the club’s finances was exemplary.

His on-the-water accomplishments are demonstrated by his name appearing on many different trophies. As a professional engineer, his expertise has been in constant demand. He directed and carried out much of the maintenance of safety boats, and there are few parts of the club that do not display his handiwork or design.

A passionate supporter of the club’s unique history of sailing canoes, he published ‘Over the Sea to Skye’ , and fulfilled the role of club archivist. A keen racer, sailor, volunteer, advisor and friend to many members, Roger has given much of his life to the benefit of the club for over 50 years.

Ian Malcolm of St Mary’s Sailing Club

Ian has been a member of St Mary’s Loch Sailing Club for over 30 years. His roles over that period have included various committee duties and the general running of the club.

This year he celebrates 25 years as its Honorary Treasurer, balancing the members’ desires to have an active but affordable club against the need to invest in club assets. Under Ian’s guidance, the club is in a strong position, due to his prudent and practical approach to its finances.

His endless hard work and willingness to share his skills, both on and off the water, go significantly beyond his role. He has instigated a junior training programme, provides adult first aid and powerboat training, and goes the extra mile, actively maintaining the club’s estate.

RYA Community Awards 2017 Outstanding Contribution was presented to individuals who have made a significant volunteer contribution either over a period of time or a ‘one-off’ effort. Receiving this award from Dalgety Bay Sailing Club was Cheryl Taylor.

Cheryl has been a loyal member of Dalgety Bay Sailing Club for 23 years, starting as an Assistant Instructor and progressing through Dinghy Instructor to Senior Instructor and delivering regular Tuesday night training sessions to around 40 junior and adult sailors.

Having served as Rear Commodore Training for two years and Chief Instructor of the recognised training centre for 13, she developed and maintained the club’s training programme and operating procedures. She also designed and led an initiative to provide pre-race coaching for inexperienced sailors.

Cheryl is valued by all members of the training team for her organisational skills and enthusiasm. She has taken holiday on five occasions to lead the club’s annual Youth Week courses, involving around 60 participants and instructors, and has instructed at more than 20 of these events.

James Allan, CEO of RYA Scotland, commented, “We are delighted to be able to share the moment as the Community Awards were presented by our President, HRH the Princess Royal. We have great representation from Clubs in Scotland, celebrating the enormous contribution of volunteers across our community. It was humbling to be in such committed company and to hear so many inspiring storied from across the UK.”

RYA Director of Sport Development, Alistair Dickson concluded: “Volunteers are the lifeblood of our sport. Today 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.

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