From committee boat to cucumber sandwiches...

The volunteers who make the boating community work at grass roots level were honoured by the RYA yesterday.

HRH the Princess Royal, President of the RYA, presented the annual RYA Community and RYA Awards at the association’s AGM, to a total of 60 winners from across the British Isles.

The awards acknowledge the importance of volunteers within boating communities and aim to recognise the contribution individuals have made to make it possible for others to enjoy the hobby.

Since its inception last year, the youth category, which recognises voluntary work carried out by young people, saw considerable growth, with six youth awards being given.

This year’s Francis Elkin award, which recognises an individual who has made a significant contribution, was awarded to Rudyard Sailability’s Dennis Priebe.

Jackie Bennetts, RYA Volunteer Development Officer, said: “This year’s awards have attracted a very high calibre of nominees with award-winners putting in an average of 30 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.”

All the winners enjoyed a celebratory lunch in the presence of HRH the Princess Royal, and were presented with a commemorative medallion and certificate.

www.rya.org.uk