South Staffordshire Sailing Club were crowned RYA Club of the Year by Skandia Team GBR sailor Penny Clark and RYA CEO Sarah Treseder today (05 March) at the RYA Volvo Dinghy Show 2011.
At the eagerly awaited awards ceremony, South Staffordshire Sailing Club (SSSC) were picked as the overall winners from amongst the five strong finalists including Glossop Sailing Club, Hollowell Sailing Club, Spinnaker Sailing Club and the Sailing and Cruising Association.
The shortlisted sailing clubs were selected by an awards panel who judged them on the range of quality and safe activities they provide, how they encourage people to get out on the water and how well they engage with the local community.
With the activities at SSSC based around the development of sailing and racing across all ages and abilities, they immediately stood out to the awards panel. For their members, South Staffordshire Sailing Club is a hub of activity all year round with training courses to suit all needs including their novice and improver training on Sunday mornings which attract around 40 children. They also run free taster sessions for non-members throughout the spring and summer.
Jackie Bennetts, who coordinates RYA Club of the Year explains: 'South Staffordshire Sailing Club are a very worthy winners of this year’s awards. They are a non-elitist club who work hard to keep their membership and training courses at very low rates. Not only do they offer brilliant opportunities for their members but they have also developed strong links with their local community including charities and schools. We hope other clubs will learn from their success. '
A delighted SSSC commodore Neil Hawkins said: 'It felt brilliant when we were announced as the winners. It’s a fitting tribute to the hard work of all of our members. We are going to continue to promote sailing to our local community by assisting schools, charities and under privileged children.' www.rya.org.uk