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The Princess Royal to present prestigious awards to Derbyshire sailing volunteers

Posted: Tue, 06 Nov 2018 10:12

The Princess Royal to present prestigious awards to Derbyshire sailing volunteers

HRH The Princess Royal, President of the Royal Yachting Association, will present a trio of Derbyshire sailors with three of the RYA's most prestigious awards next week, in recognition of their exceptional generosity and commitment to the sport at grassroots level.

At the RYA's annual awards ceremony on Friday 16 November, Staunton Harold SC's Nick Waters (pictured above) will receive an RYA Lifetime Commitment Award, for individuals who have shown exceptional commitment and dedication to their club or organisation for at least 15 years.

Swarkestone SC's Terry Radford will be presented with an RYA Outstanding Contribution Award, for individuals who have made a significant volunteer contribution either over a period of time or a 'one-off' effort.

Nick's clubmate, Poppy Smith (pictured below), will collect an RYA Youth Award, for individuals under 25 who have demonstrated a regular commitment and/or inspirational contribution over-and-above their own participation or achievement within the sport.

Nick, who celebrates his 60th birthday later this month, has played a key role in Staunton Harold's development and growth since joining the club in 1995.

He was pivotal in helping the club gain substantial grant awards to expands its facilities and activities, culminating in a 50% growth in membership and securing the RYA Club of the Year Award trophy for Britain's best sailing club in 2014. He is also an active dinghy instructor and Laser class sailor.

He said: "I was pleasantly shocked when I heard I had won. I had no idea my name had been put forward! Sailing has bought me many things. I enjoy the exhilaration of getting out on the water, it's a great way to switch off from the pressures of life.

"The club camaraderie is thoroughly enjoyable and I've made friends I wouldn't otherwise have met. I also find bringing other people into the sport and seeing them enjoy the same things I do very inspiring."

Terry, 71, has driven access to sailing for people with disabilities as the backbone of Swarkestone Sailability.

He became a Senior Instructor to run the Sailability sessions in 2012 and since then his passion and gentle, humble manner has allowed many disabled people, their carers and Sailability volunteers to aspire to, and reach, new levels of achievement.

He has also been integral in a number of major accessibility refurbishments taking place.

He said: "Sailability has filled me with a sense of purpose, meaning and fulfilment, together with the sense of everyone giving and taking something from the day

"Trying to pick a standout moment is like picking a favourite child! But it's magical when our volunteers turn up every Wednesday, giving up their precious time. The only way I could accept this award is on behalf of everyone involved with Swarkestone Sailability as a massive thank you."

Meanwhile, Poppy, who is 19 the day after the ceremony, has led her club's Junior open training for three years and in 2017 she taught more than 15 youngsters to drive powerboats as part of the Honda RYA Youth RIB Challenge.

She is now using her expertise and exceptional interpersonal skills to become a Senior Instructor. Poppy credits sailing and volunteering with maintaining her physical and mental health as she has Cystic Fibrosis.

Poppy said: "My whole family sail so it's always been a part of my life. Sailing's given me friends of all ages, from all different backgrounds and from all over the world.

"Volunteering has been proven to help improve mental health, which has at times been a struggle due to my Cystic Fibrosis. Teaching sailing has also given me a sense of responsibility, leadership and commitment. It's an amazing feeling to know how valued my help has been."

For more information about the RYA Volunteer Awards or to find out how you can get out on the water in the Midlands visit www.rya.org.uk and for inspiration on volunteering, got to: www.activederbyshire.org.uk/volunteering

The Princess Royal to present prestigious awards to Derbyshire sailing volunteers

Tags: Nick Waters, Poppy Smith, Princess Royal, Terry Radford, Volunteering, sailing