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Displaying items by tag: RYA Scotland

More than 70 representatives from across the boating community came together for RYA Scotland’s ‘Connected Scotland’ forum in Perth last Saturday (2 March) to talk all things around the development of sailing and related and activities.

The event also saw the official launch of RYA Scotland’s new club development framework, On Course for the Future.

One of the afternoon workshops looked ahead to 2030 and beyond. “Climate change is something that needs to be planned for even if it is unclear exactly what will happen,” said voluntary planning and environment officer Graham Russell.

But currently pressing matters were naturally the focus of the day. Reflecting on the forum, development manager Liza Linton said: “It’s been fantastic to see so many clubs, centres, and organisations come together and network, with a real desire to keep developing their offering.

“From our perspective, it’s also been a great chance to reflect on existing efforts and celebrate successes from within the community.

“Moving forwards, we’re looking forward to considering a wealth of feedback throughout our workshops and forums to come up with new ideas and solutions around a range of topics we know are important to our affiliates.”

Published in Scottish Waters

The Scottish Government has confirmed that changes will be made to the proposed Visitor Levy Bill, in a move welcomed by marine tourism stakeholders.

As previously reported on, the bill had proposed giving powers to local authorities in Scotland to decide whether to charge a levy on visitor accommodation — including mooring and berthing for boats — in their respective areas.

Following concerns raised by marine tourism providers around the potential impact of such a levy, the bill will now move to Stage 2 with an exemption for boat moorings and berthings unless they are permanently moored and used for accommodation.

The move has been welcomed by RYA Scotland, British Marine and several marine tourism stakeholders, as well as the Parliamentary Committee leading on the bill.

RYA Scotland adds that it’s hoped this change will come as a relief to mooring providers, including small businesses and voluntary organisations, in Scottish waters.

The RYA website has more on the story HERE.

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RYA Scotland has welcomed Philippa Howie to the team as Communication and Engagement Officer.

Howie has a longstanding passion for sports, including sailing through her involvement with the Cadets at Solway Yacht Club.

Her wider interests led to an education in sport management and journalism, and subsequently work in radio as a local news and sport reporter in Dumfries and Galloway.

She has also volunteered at several sailing championships and two Scottish Challenger Opens, which inspired an undergraduate assignment focused on the rise and accessibility of leisure sailing in the UK.

As a team racer, her proudest moment was being a part of the winning university team at the Scottish Student Sailing Champs in 2019.

The RYA website has more on Howie and her appointment HERE.

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RYA Scotland’s 2023 Annual General Meeting was held virtually online on Thursday 26 October with a review of the past 12 months of sailing in Scotland from the board of directors.

The diverse work of RYA Scotland covers the planning, running and delivery of programmes in narrow boating, powerboating and motor cruising; dinghy, keelboat and yacht sailing; volunteer, coach and club development; elite athlete development and racing; environmental awareness; advice to government, local authorities and coastal developers; and a multitude of other activities to protect the rights and promote the interests of the boating community in Scotland.

The full recording is available on the RYA Scotland YouTube channel and the presentation can be downloaded from the RYA website HERE.

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Yasmin Price has been appointed to the board of RYA Scotland as Youth Director.

The voluntary role sets out to represent the voice of young people under the age of 25 in the Scottish boating community and provide support and guidance to the board on behalf of youth participants. It also supports the recognition of youth volunteers in the boating community.

Price currently works within a commercial RYA training centre as an operations manager and has gained extensive experience afloat with the Ocean Youth Trust as both a volunteer and as a sail trainer.

With a variety of RYA qualifications, Price brings a new perspective and wealth of experience to the board.

On taking up the role, Price said: “I am incredibly passionate about breaking down the barriers of watersports and introducing youths to an industry that might not have been on their horizon or available to them without direction.

“I really value the opportunity to work with RYA Scotland to keep this drive going and develop new routes for youth participation and volunteering, along with supporting our current volunteers.”

Finlo Cottier, RYA Scotland chief executive said: “We had a lot of interest from young people about this role and we were pleased to appoint Yasmin based on her experiences.

“It is important we are fully representative of the boating community at a strategic level. We are hoping that we can continue to integrate youth volunteers throughout our committees that support our work.

“Young people should help shape the future of the boating in Scotland to ensure the next generation gain from the benefits of getting afloat.”

RYA Scotland is led by a voluntary board of directors who represent all aspects of boating in Scotland. Between the staff and volunteers, RYA Scotland runs and deliver programmes of activity that cover narrow-boating, powerboating and motor cruising; dinghy, keelboat and yacht sailing; volunteer, coach and club development; elite athlete development and racing; environmental awareness; advice to government, local authorities and coastal developers; and a multitude of other activities to protect the rights and promote the interests of the boating community in Scotland. For more on RYA Scotland’s diverse work, read its Impact Report for People, Places and Communities.

RYA Scotland will host its annual general meeting on Thursday 26 October as a virtual meeting. For more details, including the AGM agenda, see the RYA website HERE.

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RYA Scotland highlights that the Visitor Levy Bill is currently being considered by the Scottish Parliament.

The bill, currently at Stage 1 in the Scottish Parliament, proposes giving power to local authorities to decide whether to charge a levy on visitor accommodation in their area.

Currently mooring and berthing for boats in Scottish waters is included under the definition of ‘accommodation’.

RYA Scotland will be making a submission to the public consultation, which it hopes to share in full prior to the closing date of 15 September and which will take into account the all aspects that it believes may affect the boating community in Scotland.

Stakeholders can also voice their opinions in an online discussion that closed on 1 September, and which gives the ability to post comments on key aspects of the bill including the types of overnight accommodation that are included.

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Craig Evans has been appointed by the RYA as the Regional Rules Advisor (RRA) for Scotland.

With a background in dinghy racing, Evans has been an active racer for over 40 years in several classes.

He was appointed as a national judge in November 2020, in addition to serving on the jury for several national-level events including the Irish Youth Nationals.

Evans has also served on several international juries at events abroad, including three class world championships, alongside team-racing and match-racing umpiring around the UK and Ireland.

The remit of Evans’ new role is to improve rules knowledge in clubs and classes throughout Scotland and to assist with rules advice and training with the RYA Scotland performance teams.

Evans is available to visit clubs and class associations over the winter and starts off with Edinburgh University Sailing Club next Tuesday 15 November. Interested clubs and classes can submit a request to [email protected].

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The board of RYA Scotland have appointed James Stuart as interim CEO, which was announced as during the regional sailing and boating body’s virtual AGM last week.

“We are very pleased that James was able to step in and welcome his help as interim CEO,” RYA Scotland chair Brian Wilson said. “James brings significant knowledge of our organisation and sport as well as exceptional leadership qualities. The organisation is in good hands while we recruit for a full-time replacement CEO.”

Stuart is currently convener of Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park Authority and has been working with a range of tourist and marine bodies in developing strategic direction and planning, with a keen eye on sustainability and engagement.

He said: “It is a great privilege to be able to support and lead RYA Scotland over the coming months. It is an organisation that is very close to my heart and has a tremendously talented staff and volunteer team who have an impact right across Scotland.

“I am looking forward to working with the team again and working to ensure that RYA Scotland remains one of Scotland’s leading sports governing bodies.”

Stuart will caretake in the CEO role following the departure of James Allan at the end of September.

In other changes at RYA Scotland, Roy McCubbin returns to assist in the interim with this winter’s performance programme. A previous performance manager at RYA Scotland, McCubbin also spent considerable time working with the RYA helping to deliver on the UK performance programmes and supporting athletes.

Wilson added: “SportScotland has also assisted by allocating some of Abbie Hewitt’s time to us. Between Roy and Abbie they have quickly gotten up to speed and the programming is delivering as best as possible with current staff shortages.

“Thanks for all the efforts of Roy and Abbie it is hugely appreciated. Thanks also to the coaches on our various programs too, for both the brilliant job you do but also for your support in helping us to deliver the performance activity, we could not do it without you.”

RYA Scotland is currently recruiting for a membership marketing manager and performance sailing officer with further details of both roles available on the RYA website HERE.

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The Royal Yachting Association Scotland will hold its AGM on Thursday 27 October.

It will be held as a virtual meeting from 6pm on that date. All RYA members domiciled in Scotland and representatives of affiliated clubs, associations in Scotland and recognised Scottish teaching establishments are welcome to attend.

RYA Scotland has provided links to its accounts for 2021/2022, the minutes of last year’s AGM and the agenda for this year’s meeting.

As a virtual event, when you register you will also be provided with an opportunity to submit written questions in advance of the AGM to answer and queries and find out more about our work. Questions should be submitted by 4.45pm on Monday 24 October to [email protected].

RYA Scotland asks that anyone attending register before noon on Monday 24 October. Full details on how to access the AGM will be sent directly to those registered.

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After nearly eight years as chief executive officer of RYA Scotland, James Allan has decided to leave to pursue the next chapter in his career. His last day in the role was Friday 30 September.

The regional body for boating in Scottish waters said in a statement on Wednesday (28 September) that Allan “has made a tremendous contribution to RYA Scotland with sector leading achievements in equality, diversity and inclusion and leaves a legacy of creativity in the organisations strategic direction”.

Commenting on his decision, Allan said: “After nearly eight years leading RYA Scotland I have decided it is time to look towards new professional and personal goals. The pandemic is behind us and now feels the right time to hand over the helm.

“I have met and worked with the most amazing people across Scotland’s boating community and beyond. I am incredibly proud of our achievements and the impact of our work which I am confident RYA Scotland will continue into the future.”

Brian Wilson, chair of RYA Scotland said: “We are grateful to James for his guidance and leadership over his time and particularly through lockdown where his tireless work ensured boating remained available to us all. He has moved RYA Scotland forward considerably during his tenure and we wish him all the best in his future endeavours.”

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