RYA’s Sailability Annual National Conference and Awards

Bill Smith and John Herd attended the RYA’s Sailability Annual National Conference and Awards, at the Wyboston Lakes resort and Conference Centre, on Saturday 18 February.
Up to three representatives from each Sailability centre were invited to attend the conference, free of charge, including dinner and overnight accomodation. Nearly 200 Sailability representatives attended on the the day, which represented a record for the event. The delegates were a great cross section of the volunteers, instructors and sailors who regularly participate in Sailability activities across the country.
The event was a mixture of keynote speeches and active workshops in addition to an update and celebration of best practice around the country. The day ended with informal discussion and networking sessions, dinner and the annual awards ceremony. Even though the schedule was packed, there was plenty of time to network with other centres in the evening.
Bill and John attended workshops on refreshing centre’s Facebook pages, Safety support on the water (to help the RYA identify common training needs), making centre websites more effective and the RYA’s new participation measurement initiative, funded by Sport England. All of the workshops were highly participative and were led by experienced RYA representatives who ensured that everyone got something out of each session.
The informal session updates included the launch of the RYA’s radical rethink of the disability awareness course, which will start rolling out nationally this month. The course was completely redesigned, with professional advice and assistance from major disabled charities, including a new section on mental health, developed with the assistance of the mental health charity Mind.
Overall Bill and John thought that the day were very well organised, highly informative and well worth the effort of attending. If any volunteers, or sailors, would like to attend next year’s event, please get in touch.