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County Antrim Yacht Club Youth Sailors Win Volunteer Award at RYA NI Awards

18th January 2020
Amy Armstrong and James Corbett at the RYANI Award ceremony Amy Armstrong and James Corbett at the RYANI Award ceremony

Fundraisers at County Antrim Yacht Club won the Young Volunteer of the Year at the RYA Northern Ireland Awards last night in the Queen’s University’s Riddel Hall writes Betty Armstrong.

The century-old CAYC, which lies on the north shore of Belfast Lough, has a Junior Committee to be envied. Since the group’s formation in 2018 it has raised, on behalf of the junior members, £1500.

The committee has reached this total by cleverly coordinating their fund-raising activities, both in-house and within the community, with truly ingenious and powerful ideas. Some of these ideas included creating Christmas presents with a full Production Line, Marketing Team and Sales Department. Some were even bought and posted to Spain! In March of last year, they arranged, through the power of parental contacts, the All Ireland premier of “Maiden” which was screened in the club. Thirty years ago Tracy Edwards’ Maiden, became the first all-female team to sail around the world and into the record books. The Juniors, under the careful lead of CAYC Junior Committee, took control of all ticket sales, marketing and refreshments for the evening. They arranged a VIP Guest for the evening, Professor Louise Dubras, Foundation Dean of the School of Medicine at Ulster University’s Magee Campus in Derry. She was hugely influential in the original Maiden project onboard, her husband also leading the Team Rebuild on both occasions! The evening was a huge success. These are just some examples of their ingenuity.
Of the £1500 raised the Juniors donated last weekend, £500 to a charity which is close to their hearts along with all of the CAYC family, the Friends of the Cancer Centre. This has been largely driven by Junior Vice Captain Hannah Todd who has close links with the charity.

2 CAYCCAYC Junior Captain James Corbett agreeing on the sponsorship deal of CAYC Spring Series 2020, on behalf of all CAYC Juniors, with Commodore Paul Abraham

And after talks with the General Committee, the CAYC Juniors are now main sponsors of this season’s Spring Series after Commodore Paul Abraham accepted their offer of £250. In doing so this not only encourages them to take part in this series by having ownership of it but also gives them a sense of achievement by contributing in a way which they never thought they could.

All of this would not be possible without the enthusiasm of all the Juniors at the club and the co-ordination led by the Junior Captains Amy Armstrong and James Corbett along with the Junior Vice Captains Hannah Todd and Michael Rock.

And a bonus arising from the Junior’s efforts is that the formation of the Junior committee has helped convert the less active into increased participation in club matters as they have become the decision makers.

“And as this has happened in the off-season” Club Race Coach and Committee member Gavin Pollard says “it is more than likely helping increase interest in clubhouse events which they have arranged themselves”.

1 Junior Vice Captain Hannah Todd, presenting Amy from Friend’s of the Cancer Centre with a cheque of £500.

2 CAYC Junior Captain James Corbett agreeing the sponsorship deal of CAYC Spring Series 2020, on behalf of all CAYC Juniors, with Commodore Paul Abraham.

Betty Armstrong

About The Author

Betty Armstrong

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Betty Armstrong is 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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