RYA Volunteer Awards

We are delighted to report that two of our volunteers Sarah Read and Tim Miles-Hayler were awarded National awards by by Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal, at the RYA’s annual awards ceremony at One Great George Street, London.

Sarah won the Lifetime Achievement award which is for over 15 years volunteering in sailing. I will probably embarrass Sarah by repeating the Citation submitted by the club – all I can say is it is throughly deserved.

” Sarah is one of the volunteers who beaver away very effectively in the background, and are the mainstay of clubs around the country, without people like Sarah clubs do not function effectively. They do their volunteering quietly and are pleased when they are thanked, but essentially they do it because they love sailing.

Sarah joined Newark Argonauts Sailing Club with her husband Martin in 1986, and very soon made herself useful by co-ordinating the results at Newark for several years, along with racing and sailing at the club. Her sons both started sailing there. Nine years later she joined Notts County Sailing Club with a group of Newark members. At the time her sons were heavily involved in Youth squad training and along with ferrying them to meetings Sarah & Martin effectively ran the 405 class association nationally in 1996 and 1997 as secretary and newsletter. Chris her son went onto 420 National squad in 1998. As a result she was volunteering nationally rather than at a club.

After her children could drive themselves Sarah & Martin returned to more regular club sailing and in 2001 she became results secretary at Notts County Sailing Club and the following year Club Newsletter Editor, posts she held for a number of years. She has helped on Sailability events and Chernobyl children’s visits ever since then. She was instrumental in bringing in Sailwave as a modern means of collating and publishing results and soon became the local expert in her time as Result Secretary.

In 2006 she became the Training Secretary, at the start it was basically receiving forms and money, but over the years the post has grown beyond all recognition, out of both need and Sarah’s enthusiasm to help. She is now a key part of the training section, not only administering dinghy, powerboat and first aid courses, but recording instructor qualifications and dates, co-ordinating course dates and helping to ensure instructor numbers are available for the numerous courses the training section runs. She ensures books and certificates are available, and often attends courses to help on safety, or just make sure they run smoothly. Quite simply without Sarah the training section would be a less active section and not the highly successful part of the club it is now. Her commitment to the training section over so many years means she is very able to represent the Training Principal as his deputy at Sailing Committee & Executive Committee level. She is still often consulted and regularly sort after when we host our open meetings or regatta events.

She shows a keen interest in our Youth Development pathways and seeking out new talent that can add to the pool of Dinghy Instructors – bringing forward many new generations of instructors into the sport.”

Tim won the Outstanding Contribution award for his selfless and persistent will to maintain our fleet of boats whilst having a serious illness and of course like Sarah he continues to work tirelessly for the club putting in many hours a week.

Tim’s Citation again speaks for itself. 

” Tim is one of those people with a larger than life presence as the citation below will reveal. Tim has been involved in teaching power boating and helping out at Nottingham Sailing Club followed by Notts County Sailing Club for many years. He joined the club in 1992 both to sail, bit I think really it was also to help on powerboats.

He was an offshore powerboat instructor, and helped on the south coast (Brighton) for many years, he has a deep understanding of powerboat issues, both training, driving and handling, especially in extreme conditions.

He helped out our previous bosun on many occasions after joining the club, both in role as safety officer, experienced driver and repairing and maintaining boats. The two still work together to keep Notts County’s necessarily extensive fleet of powerboats running, especially when we need every boat for training, racing and National coaching events all at the same time, quite simply we would not be able to introduce so many to sailing and windsurfing and keep their interest going with out a reliable safety, coaching and committee boat fleet.

Since about 4 years ago, when our previous bosun retired after 25 years in the hot seat, he took over (except for a short period, see below) and has built on and maintained the fleet as our participation, and activity at the club has increased significantly. The bosun not only looks after a variety of motorised craft on the water, but the buoys, moorings, landing stages etc.

About a decade ago Tim was diagnosed with a hereditary kidney disease, Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD), Tim made light of it and I don’t think any of us knew the full extent of his illness (including his wife) due to its aggression he needed a kidney transplant, meanwhile he was still maintaining boats and acting as bosun, even when he was on dialysis three evenings a week (he did miss the odd Committee meeting as a result). Ian our previous bosun stepped in and took over for a number of months during his transplant and treatment. To be honest he couldn’t wait to get back on the water and the job of bosun almost certainly took his mind off the operations he had to endure (including time in the ICU after his kidneys where removed), and when he had to have an enforced three month break when he was ordered not to go out on a boat. Thankfully the operation was a success, not only is Tim a new man but following his transplant has put a renewed vigour into his post at the club.

Tim is often safety officer at The University of Nottingham national team racing events, and many of the open meetings at the club, and he spends hours ensuring our safety fleet starts first time and works. Without Tim the club would be much less active.”

We would like to thank the wives/husbands for help putting these together and are glad they all enjoyed the day in London.

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