Applications are now open for the 2021 RYA and Yachts & Yachting Club of the Year award supported by Gallagher.
Last year’s award saw two NI clubs — East Antrim Boat Club and Strangford Lough Yacht Club — as well as Prestwick Sailing Club in Scotland make the list of finalists.
All RYA-affiliated clubs across the UK are eligible to apply and the award panel will select a finalist for each of the 10 RYA regions, as well as two ‘wild card’ entries.
During the shortlisting stage, the panel will also provide five clubs with recognition for particular achievements in the following five areas:
- Heart of the community — new for 2021, a recognition for a club that has worked tirelessly to support their local community. This could be through the efforts of volunteers working within their local area for good causes, sharing club facilities with those in need or opening their club up to local community groups to get out on the water.
- Modern, innovative and forward thinking — recognition for a club that makes a break from traditional ways of running a club or delivering boating activity. This could be delivering different formats of training or racing to engage new participants, creating new membership models or embracing the use of modern communications.
- Sustainability — another new category with recognition for a club that has embraced sustainability and demonstrably reduced its own and/or its members impact on the environment through education, action or improved facilities.
- Inclusive and open to all — recognition for a club or project which has been impactful in developing participation amongst people with disabilities or from other under-represented or disadvantaged groups.
- Boosting membership — recognition for a club that has delivered the most impactful participation project, the outcomes of which are, attracting and retaining new participants and growing their membership.
All finalists go through to a public vote with the overall winner selected by RYA members, Yachts & Yachting readers and the judging panel.
‘It feels more important than ever to recognise the people who have worked tirelessly to ensure that others can continue to get out on the water safely’
The overall winner of the 2021 RYA and Yachts & Yachting Club of the Year will be announced at the RYA Dinghy Show scheduled for next February.
“The past few months have been hugely challenging for clubs, so it feels more important than ever to recognise the people who have worked tirelessly to ensure that others can continue to get out on the water safely and enjoy what they love doing,” said RYA director of sport development, Alistair Dickson.
Yachts & Yachting editor Georgie Corlett-Pitt added: “While recent months may have posed many unprecedented challenges for our clubs, they have also brought to the fore the spirit and resilience of the sailing community.
“This year more than ever we look forward to acknowledging those achievements with the RYA and Yachts & Yachting Club of the Year awards.”
Club applications close on Monday 21 September. For more information on the award and to complete an application form, visit the RYA website HERE.