The Princess Royal praises RYA volunteers

Some of boating’s most outstanding volunteers were honored by the Princess Royal at a ceremony held in London last Friday.

In all 57 awards were given out with people having travelled from as far as Plymouth and the Isle of Man to receive their awards in the capital. 50 awards were given out for community voluntary work in the form of Community Awards and the remaining 7 were RYA Awards given to people who had made a specific contribution regionally or nationally.

Additionally the Francis Elkin award for significant contribution towards helping people with disabilities get involved in sailing was given to John Morley of Rutland Sailability.

Jackie Bennetts, volunteer development officer for the RYA, says: “This years’ Awards have attracted a very high calibre of nominees with award winners putting in an average of 35 years service as volunteers for their clubs. Occasions like this allow us to fully recognise and celebrate the continuous hard work these people put in to our sport, many of which often go unnoticed – they really are the unsung heroes.”

Winners enjoyed a celebratory lunch with the Princess Royal who also gave out the awards during the ceremony.

Her Royal Highness says: “It is really important to make volunteers feel valued for what they do. Often they just get up and get on with things and these awards are just one way to recognize the work that people do.”

More information about the annual RYA awards ceremony is available on their website.