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Northern Ireland Sailors Recognised By Royal Yachting Association

19th October 2020
Lindsay Nolan of Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club was recoginsed by the Royal Yachting Association Lindsay Nolan of Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club was recoginsed by the Royal Yachting Association

Four inspiring Northern Ireland volunteers have been recognised nationally with awards from the Royal Yachting Association.

Traditionally taking place at an awards ceremony in London, the RYA Volunteer Awards celebrate and say 'thank you' to volunteers who have made an outstanding contribution to the sport.

The volunteers are nominated by their sailing club, class associations and members of the boating community.

The RYA Community Awards are given across three categories: Lifetime Commitment, Outstanding Contribution and Youth and are presented to outstanding individuals for their commitment and services to boating at club or grassroots level.

RYA Northern Ireland's Chief Operating Officer, Richard Honeyford, said: "On behalf of RYA Northern Ireland I would like to thank all of our dedicated volunteers, who make our sport the success that it is.

"I am delighted for our four local sailors who have been recognised nationally by the Royal Yachting Association for all their hard work. Devoted to their clubs, these volunteers ensure the smooth running of many aspects of club life and also do so much to benefit the wider local community."

Jackie Patton, Chair of RYA Northern Ireland, commented: "Our volunteers are the bedrock of our sport, working tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure the smooth running of our clubs and the constant development of our sport. I am delighted that our volunteers have been recognised nationally for their efforts and congratulate them on their fantastic achievements."

Kate Pounder – Ballyholme Yacht Club

Kate Pounder received a Youth Award for going above and beyond in her role as an Instructor at Ballyholme Yacht Club. She has worked her way through the RYA syllabus, gaining her Senior Instructor qualification in 2017, leading to her appointment as Chief Sailing Instructor for her club's 2019 centenary season.

Kate Pounder – Ballyholme Yacht ClubKate Pounder – Ballyholme Yacht Club

Whether she's assisting with driving RIBS, providing rescue cover, transferring boats across the yard or laying racing marks, Kate consistently gives her time and infectious enthusiasm for the good of the club and its members.

Commenting on her award, Kate said: "When I realised I had won an award I felt completely overjoyed and surprised. For as long as I can remember, I've always enjoyed helping out at my home club and the more I got involved the better I felt about myself and the way others engaged with me. Sailing at Ballyholme is a real community and thrives on people getting actively involved and I wanted to be part of that".

Colin de Fleury – County Antrim Yacht Club

County Antrim Yacht Club's Colin de Fleury received an Outstanding Contribution award for his hard work over the years. A member of the club since 2007, Colin has always been a willing and very experienced volunteer. A Powerboat, Keelboat and Senior Dinghy Instructor and Race Coach, he is always on hand to take on the role of Race Officer, safety boat helm or crew, as well as maintaining dinghies and mentoring Assistant Instructors.

Colin de Fleury – County Antrim Yacht ClubColin de Fleury – County Antrim Yacht Club

Delivering courses and helping with 'Try Sailing' and other initiatives, Colin is always organised and thorough, a natural leader and inspiring for everyone around him.

Lindsay Nolan – Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club

Lindsay Nolan (pictured top) from Royal North of Ireland has been given an Outstanding Contribution award. Under her leadership, the club has benefitted from a vibrant social programme for all members, raising thousands of pounds for charities. Lindsay looks after the club's Facebook page, is editor of the annual Club Review magazine, contributes to the weekly newsletter and is often chief photographer at events.

As RYA Green Blue Co-Ordinator she has introduced a range of initiatives from installing a water fountain to organising a beach clean.

Paul Prentice – Ballyholme Yacht Club

Paul Prentice has been recognised with a Lifetime Commitment award. He has been a dedicated volunteer at Ballyholme Yacht Club for nearly two decades, as an instructor and a coach.

Paul Prentice – Ballyholme Yacht Club Paul Prentice – Ballyholme Yacht Club

In his current role as Training Centre Principal, he is devoted to promoting and overseeing adult and youth dinghy and powerboat training. Working with the Sir Thomas Lipton Foundation and its Buoyed-Up programme, the Andrew Simpson Foundation and the Department for Education for Northern Ireland, Paul has been key to the club delivering sailing opportunities for disadvantaged young people from schools in the local community.

Paul has been key in developing new links between the club and external organisations, as well as securing funding from innovative sources to deliver initiatives for the club and also the local community. Team

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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
  • 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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