Honour for Filey Sailing Club Volunteer
Posted: Tue, 13 Nov 2018 14:06
A sailor from Filey will be presented with one of the Royal Yachting Association's most prestigious awards by HRH the Princess Royal, President of the RYA, in recognition of his dedication to the sport.
James Whitehead was nominated for an Outstanding Contribution Award by Filey Sailing Club and after being selected as a winner by the RYA Honours and Awards Panel will receive it at a special ceremony in London on 16 November.
James has been a member of Filey Sailing Club since childhood, and after working away for many years before returning to the town to set up his own business, Bay Watersports, volunteered his time to help modernise its facilities.
He became the club's commodore in 2015 and worked with North Yorkshire Sport to secure a £75,000 Sport England grant to refurbish the club house, including new changing rooms and a welcoming lounge, resulting in a growing membership and increasing participation, with almost 100 boats taking part in the club's annual regatta this summer.
In its nomination for James to receive the RYA award, the club said he had "worked tirelessly to create an inclusive environment for people of all ages and abilities".
The father-of-two, who is currently the club's training officer, and also a HM Coastguard volunteer, now hopes to increase opportunities at the club for those wanting to learn how to sail or improve their skills.
He said: "I've enjoyed growing up in the club so it's nice to now see other youngsters coming through as well like my own children. It's good fun, and it's a really friendly club with a very can-do attitude. We actually do everything ourselves because we can't afford not to!
There's always someone willing to help out and after improving the facilities ashore, it's somewhere people want to spend their time."RYA Chief Executive Sarah Treseder said that without the work of volunteers at clubs and centres the sport would be immeasurably poorer: "The generosity and dedication of this year's RYA Volunteer Award winners is simply astounding."
For more information about how to get out on the water in the North East visit www.rya.org.uk/go/startboating