Royal Date for North Yorkshire Sailors
Posted: Mon, 02 Dec 2019 09:33
Two sailors from North Yorkshire have been presented with special awards in recognition of their dedication to the sport by HRH The Princess Royal, President of the Royal Yachting Association. Erica Caswell, of Yorkshire Dales Sailing Club, and Peter Crook from Ellerton Park Scout Water Activity Centre, were among 47 volunteers honoured at an awards ceremony held at One Great George Street in Westminster, London (Friday 22 November). Each was presented with an RYA Volunteer Award for Lifetime Commitment.
Erica, who lives in Pateley Bridge and is Training Principal at Yorkshire Dales SC, said it had been a "really lovely day". She first started helping to provide low-cost watersports opportunities for local people in the early 1980s and over the last 12 months has overseen the club successfully gaining RYA Training Centre recognition, RYA OnBoard accreditation for its outstanding work with children and young people, and becoming a finalist in the RYA/Yachts & Yachting Magazine Club of the Year Awards.
Describing her enthusiasm for volunteering in the run up to the awards, Erica said: "I get a great deal of satisfaction from seeing lots of boats out on the water, with children out sailing and windsurfing and lots of people helping. It is a lot of hard work and organisation but it's great when you see complete beginners progress to become really competent sailors and then stalwart members of the club. To know that we've drawn them in through our training programme and our very open policy of encouraging people to come along and have a go is very rewarding."
Peter was nominated for an RYA Volunteer Award by North Yorkshire Scouts, having been involved for more than 30 years with the Water Activities Team at Ellerton Park, where he transformed the provision of sailing from an ad hoc delivery of sessions to achieve recognition as an official RYA Training Centre.
Peter, who lives in Harrogate, said he was among a number of volunteers recognised at the awards ceremony for their work to make sailing accessible through the Scouting movement, and that it had been an excellent day. "I find volunteering rewarding because of the benefits young people get from taking part in our activities," said Peter.
RYA Chief Executive Sarah Treseder said those honoured in this year's awards were creating a lasting legacy for the sport, adding: "The generosity and dedication of this year's RYA Volunteer Award winners is simply astounding."
To find out more about sailing opportunities and how to take part, visit www.rya.org.uk/go/StartBoating