The RYA have written this which sums up the award:
HRH The Princess Royal, President of the Royal Yachting Association, will present a Notts County Sailing Club sailor with one of the RYA’s most prestigious awards next week in recognition of his exceptional generosity and commitment to the sport at grassroots level.
Ross Ryan will receive an an RYA Outstanding Contribution Award, for individuals who have made a significant volunteer contribution either over a period of time or a ‘one-off’ effort,at the RYA’s annual awards ceremony on Friday 16 November.
Having first joined the Hoveringham-based club 10 years ago, Ross has guided Notts County SC through a significant transformation and rejuvenation period, which saw it named Britain’s best sailing club as the 2018 RYA and Yachts & Yachting Club of the Year in March.
The 57-year-old, who was born in the year the club was formed, instigated an ambitious five-year £250,000 plan to broaden access to sailing by making the club’s facilities and activities even more appealing to all, while also being involved in the renegotiation of a new 30-year club lease to enable Notts County to sail for 12 months of the year and inspiring the club’s awesome team of volunteers.
In addition, Ross led as Notts County joined the national RYA OnBoard and Sailability programmes, to help more local youngsters and disabled people discover the wider benefits of getting afloat, while helping to rejuvenate its junior Saturday Club, which saw the number of kids sailing regularly increase by 125% and a big upturn in family members. More than 1,200 people are now members at Notts County SC with the club on safe, solid foundations.
Ross said: “I’m honoured to have led the club through this period of major investment and change. Supported by a strong Executive Team and in response to membership feedback, we have turned a good club into a great family friendly sailing club in the heart of the Midlands.
“I was born into a sailing family with a mother and father who both sailed Finn dinghies at National level. I started at 10 and it’s brought me a lifelong enjoyment of the freedom and funyou gain being on the water with family and friends, and hundreds of special moments, both sailing inland in dinghies and competing in big yacht races such as the Fastnet Race and the Round The Island Race.
“When I found out I’d won this award I was absolutely delighted and really grateful that the passion and commitment the whole family put into the club has been recognised. I’m accepting it on behalf of Kathryn, Amy, Molly, Oliver and my sister Deb, who have all made sacrifices in our lives to serve the club. It’s truly fabulous to be recognised in this way.”
Having held a number of other key positions, Ross is currently the club’s Treasurer and as well as driving its efforts to open up sailing for all, he has taken on the role of Fleet Captain of the club’s RS400 racing class, helping to put Notts County on the national and regional scene.
The RYA is boating’s national governing body and the Volunteer Awards are considered the ‘MBEs’ of the sport, honouring people throughout the UK for their outstanding contributions across all the disciplines the RYA represents, including sailing, windsurfing, powerboating, inland waterways and personal watercraft. The winners were selected by the RYA Honours and Awards Panel.