Over 40 volunteers and major contributors to the future of boating have been recognised for their ongoing commitment to the sport. HRH The Duke of Edinburgh acknowledged the ongoing support of seven individuals at the AGM by presenting the RYA Awards.
Prior to the AGM a luncheon was held in honour of the Community Award winners with Olympic Gold medallists, Shirley ROBERTSON and Iain PERCY presenting certificates.
Volunteers are essential in helping our sport grow and often their work is a thankless task, but the RYA were able to express a deep appreciation for the dedication the winners have shown in working with local clubs and associations. Iain PERCY, Olympic Gold Medallist said that he was 'deeply humbled' by what he had seen in presenting the awards. Shirley Robertson added that she would not have a gold medal 'if it had not been for the work of such volunteers'
Later in the day HRH The Duke of Edinburgh awarded seven winners with awards for the service they have given to boating on a regional or national level. Special RYA Honorary Life Membership was awarded to Robin AISHER and Bob RIDING. Robin is one of the countries most well regarded yachtsmen in the country and has been a stalwart participant, manager and supporter of yacht racing in Great Britain for 50 years. Bob has worked tirelessly to repay the sport by way of committee work for its governing body and associated charities for many years now.
The Francis Elkin Award was presented to Erica BISHOP. Erica's early work involved organising sports days for deaf children, the success of which led onto the establishment of a Sailability Centre at Wimbledon Park.