Please select your home edition

Nominations now open for the 2023 RYA Volunteer Awards

by RYA 1 Mar 11:42 PST
RYA Volunteer Awards © RYA

Help us celebrate the outstanding contributions of our sport's volunteers

Nominations are now open for the 2023 RYA Volunteer Awards, recognising all those who have contributed to the sport and made an impact in their communities.

The prestigious awards are bestowed every year to volunteers who have stood out in demonstrating undoubted passion, commitment and dedication to the sport and had a positive impact and influence on others' experience within the sport.

The annual awards recognise and say 'thank you' to volunteers - with recipients nominated by their sailing clubs, class associations and members of the boating community.

Volunteers are vital

Commenting on the importance of volunteering, Anne Spalding, Commodore at Waldringfield Sailing Club in Suffolk, said: "Every member of our club does three duties a year - in race management, safety boat, galley or bar - and we couldn't run without them. Some people give a lot more than that, often in background roles such as Secretary or Bosun or building maintenance, which are all essential in keeping the club going. Volunteering in these different ways makes Waldringfield the wonderful sailing club that it is.

"At any club, there are lots of different tasks that need doing so whatever you can offer is great. If you can make a difference and you are part of people having fun... what's not to like?"

Exceptional commitment and dedication

The RYA Volunteer Awards are divided into five categories:

Community Awards

Presented to individuals for their commitment and services to boating at club or grassroots level and are awarded across three categories:

  • Lifetime Commitment
  • Outstanding Contribution
  • Young Volunteer
Francis Elkin Award

Presented to an individual who has enabled people with disabilities to become involved in sailing.

Honor Preston Award

Presented to an individual who has worked towards increasing the inclusivity of boating, in particular female participation.

Family Award

Presented to a family group deserving of recognition for the impact they have made both as individuals and a family.

RYA Awards

Awarded for commitment and services to boating and the RYA at a National level and at a Regional level.

Every contribution counts

RYA Club and Volunteer Support Officer, Cat Ferguson, said: "We're delighted to announce that nominations are now open for the 2023 RYA Volunteer Awards, recognising and celebrating the tremendous hard work that goes into making the UK's sailing clubs so successful.

"Do you know a hardworking volunteer who really makes a difference in helping others get on the water? Whether it's mowing the lawn, making those all-important cups of tea, helming the safety boat, running events or just getting stuck in wherever needed - it all counts.

"An RYA Volunteer Award is the perfect way to say thank you. With lots of categories to choose from, the awards recognise the impactful contribution made by volunteers throughout the UK. Not only rewarding the longest-standing volunteers but also families, committed youngsters and most importantly, those that have had an impact."

Make your nomination before 2 May 2023 by 5pm.

Find out more about the guidelines for nominating.

Love Boating? Then why not join the association that promotes and protects, safe, successful and rewarding British boating. Join today and support the RYA in protecting your boating rights and freedoms. Take advantage of free advice and support on all aspects of your boating, as well as enjoying a range of fantastic personal member offers. Find out more by calling 02380 604 159, email or visit

Related Articles

RYA raise the flag for Pride
Inclusivity and diversity remain a priority for the Royal Yachting Association The Royal Yachting Association (RYA) will be highlighting the power of inclusivity this Pride month (June 2023), by celebrating the voices and lived experiences of members from their LGBTQIA+ Network. Posted on 1 Jun
Club of the Year Awards new categories announced
Celebrating the achievements and dedication of RYA Affiliated Clubs Nominations for the prestigious RYA Club of the Year Awards supported by Gallagher are now open with the launch of new categories for 2024. Posted on 31 May
Sebago announced as official supplier to RYA
The investment will support the RYA's work to ensure boaters have access to clean and safe waters The RYA is delighted to announce a new partnership with lifestyle brand, Sebago. Posted on 27 May
Sir Michael Arthur appointed as RYA Chair
An experienced racing and cruising sailor and accomplished British academic The Royal Yachting Association (RYA) has today announced the appointment of Professor Sir Michael Arthur, an experienced racing and cruising sailor and accomplished British academic, as the new Chair of its Board. Posted on 21 Mar
Free tickets for RYA members
To the Southampton International Boat Show this September The Southampton International Boat Show returns to Mayflower Park (15-24 September) and RYA members can take advantage of an exclusive FREE ticket to the show, plus up to two half-price tickets. Posted on 3 Mar
RYA Board welcomes new non-executive director
Polly Handford, the Football Association's highly regarded director of legal & governance, appointed The Royal Yachting Association (RYA) has today announced the appointment of Polly Handford, the Football Association's highly regarded director of legal and governance, as a non-executive director of its Board. Posted on 10 Feb
RYA expresses disappointment at IPC's decision
Not to reinstate sailing to LA28 Paralympic Games The Royal Yachting Association (RYA) has today expressed its profound disappointment at the International Paralympic Committee's decision not to reinstate sailing to the Paralympic Games for LA28. Posted on 30 Jan
RYA welcomes personal watercraft legislation
The Merchant Shipping (Watercraft) Order will come into force on 31 March 2023 Legislation from the Department for Transport (DfT) to bring some previously unregulated activities within the scope of the Merchant Shipping Act (MSA) 1995 was yesterday (18 January) laid before Parliament. Posted on 19 Jan
Returned Goods Relief policy changes refused
Marine bodies informed of the Government's decision to reject proposal by the RYA Disappointing outcome felt by the Royal Yachting Association, British Marine, Association of Brokers and Yacht Agents, and the Cruising Association. Posted on 19 Dec 2022