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Northern Ireland Sailors Stay Connected Through RYA NI's Virtual Forums

18th June 2020
Single-handed sailing during lockdown at Ballyholme Yacht Club Single-handed sailing during lockdown at Ballyholme Yacht Club

Many sailors are slowly returning to the water as the lockdown eases, but they have kept in touch by taking part in RYA Northern Ireland’s virtual forums, learning more about support, opportunities for funding and other important updates.

The club development forums were created by the governing body to connect with affiliated clubs and centres. So far over 20 Northern Ireland clubs and centres have been attending virtually.

RYA Northern Ireland’s Chief Operating Officer Richard Honeyford commented: “Lockdown has led to some very constructive and important discussions within the boating community through the RYA Northern Ireland forums. We’ve covered a wide range of different topics, from NI government advice to funding opportunities and Q&A sessions on the main issues facing our sport. During such a rapidly changing environment, we recognised the need to keep communications open to help address challenges and share valuable learning”.

He went on “We are continuing to provide guidance to clubs and centres on the latest government advice, which allows our members to make informed decisions about how their club is operating as government restrictions ease.”

The most recent forum on Tuesday 9 June provided clubs with discussions on how to safely return to recreational boating activity.

Ballyholme Yacht Club provided a valuable insight into their own journey to ‘Returning to Boating’ and discussed their Covid-19 team approach, which was set up under RYA guidance. Clubs taking part in the forum were given the opportunity to discuss Ballyholme’s journey and explain their own plans.

Lisa McCaffrey, RYA Northern Ireland’s Active Clubs Co-ordinator, commented: “I really miss visiting the clubs during the sailing season so getting the opportunity to connect has been super. The forums give us a chance to explain the work that we are doing including providing guidance to our clubs and centres within the various activities that we cover.”

Further forums are planned, and these will focus on returning to racing, returning to training and further volunteer development, sailability and cruising workshops.

Betty Armstrong

About The Author

Betty Armstrong

Email The Author

Betty Armstrong is Afloat and Yachting Life's Northern Ireland Correspondent. Betty grew up racing dinghies but now sails a more sedate Dehler 36 around County Down.

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About the Royal Yachting Association (RYA) Northern Ireland 

  • The RYA is the national body for dinghy, yacht and motor cruising, all forms of sail racing, RIBs and sports boats, windsurfing and personal watercraft and a leading representative for inland waterways cruising.
  • The RYA is recognised by Government, the media and opinion formers as the representative body and voice for the activities that it represents. It continually fights for the rights and freedoms of its 112,000 personal members.
  • The RYA has more than 1,500 affiliated clubs and classes, which represent some 350,000 boaters throughout the UK. It is estimated that 4 million people in the UK take part in boating activity annually.
  • The RYA also sets and maintains recognised standards for training for both leisure and commercial boating through a network of more than 2,400 RYA Recognised Training Centres across 58 countries. More than 250,000 people per year complete RYA training courses.
  • The RYA is responsible for one of the UK’s most successful Olympic medal-winning sports. Our coaching and development schemes actively support 800 of our country’s top sailors, from talented juniors to Olympic and World champions.
  • The RYA is committed to promoting all forms of boating and making them accessible to everyone. For more information please visit www.rya.org.uk.
  • The Royal Yachting Association Northern Ireland (RYA NI) acts for the RYA in Northern Ireland (NI) and the Chairman of RYA NI is invited to join the Irish Sailing Association (ISA) Policy Review Committee.
  • You can find the RYA Northern Ireland at Sketrick House, GE8, Jubilee Road, Newtownards, BT23 4YH.
  • RYA NI is a company limited by guarantee – Registration number NI 51945
  • Contact RYA NI: Tel: 02891 827154 email: [email protected]

 

 

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