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RYANI’s Virtual AGM Reflects on Achievements in a Difficult Year

15th November 2020
RYANI’s Virtual AGM Reflects on Achievements in a Difficult Year

RYA Northern Ireland held its first-ever virtual AGM earlier this month, reflecting on a different but successful year for the sport leading up to April 2020.

Guests at the meeting included RYA chief executive RYA Sarah Treseder OBE, chair Chris Preston and Clodagh Cooke from the Northern Ireland Youth Forum.

During the meeting, both Sarah and Chris spoke to members, with Sarah also discussing the importance of clubs as a community. She talked about the positivity of clubs across Northern Ireland and how they have been helping their members and wider communities throughout Covid-19.

RYANI chief operating officer Richard Honeyford led the general business of the meeting, firstly addressing the key challenges clubs are facing due to Covid-19 and then reviewing the work that has taken place throughout the year until April 2020.

Club representatives and guests were then taken through proposed updates to RYANI Articles to allow questions to be raised. The Articles are now being sent to affiliated organisations for approval.

This was Jackie Patton’s final meeting as chair of RYANI. During her closing comments, she thanked everyone who had supported her during her three-year tenure. Susan McKnight from Strangford Lough Yacht Club was elected as chair and has now taken up her post.

Commenting after her election as chair, Susan said: “I am honoured to be taking on the position as chair and I am looking forward to working with the board, Richard and the whole RYA Northern Ireland team.”

James Ogg, Peter Kennedy, David Williams, Andrew Corkill, Roy Totten and Jill Heron were elected as directors.

Richard Honeyford commented: “While it has been a challenging year for us all, the RYA Northern Ireland AGM gave us a chance to reflect on the key challenges for our clubs and wider boating community. It also highlighted the excellent work that volunteers have undertaken and the success many of our sailors have had throughout the year.

“I would like to thank Jackie Patton for all her work as chair of RYA Northern Ireland and I welcome Susan McKnight as our new chair. I am looking forward to working with Susan and all of our directors and board members in the year ahead.”

Following the meeting, Clodagh Cooke from the Northern Ireland Youth Forum Belfast praised the establishment of the RYA Northern Ireland Youth Forum initiative and the work that had been achieved throughout the year.

She explained the importance of the relationship between NIYF and RYANI and introduced the RYA Northern Ireland young sailors who delivered a presentation during the meeting.

Jackie Patton, who leads on the RYANI Youth Forum, said: “RYA Northern Ireland has been working in conjunction with the Northern Ireland Youth Forum to set up our RYA Northern Ireland Youth Forum. This youth leadership and development programme is the first of its kind within the sport and the RYA.

“The NIYF has provided valuable support, leadership and funding to make this happen. Our own RYA Northern Ireland Youth Forum has already achieved so much and I would like to particularly acknowledge Kaitlyn, Abbie, Autumn, Cody and Charlie for their hard work and dedication. I look forward to seeing what the next year brings.” 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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