HRH The Princess Royal Honours Roy

A Cannock sailor has been presented with a prestigious national award by HRH The Princess Royal, President of the Royal Yachting Association (RYA), in recognition of his exceptional generosity and commitment to the sport at grassroots level.

South Staffs Sailing Club’s Roy Alexander received an RYA Lifetime Commitment Award, for individuals who have shown exceptional commitment and dedication to their club or organisation for at least 15 years, at the RYA’s annual awards at One George Street, London on Friday 22 November.

Presenting the awards, Her Royal Highness paid tribute to the invaluable contribution and considerable difference all the winners have made to their clubs and associations around the country and in people being able to get out and enjoy being on the water.

Roy was a late starter to sailing, joining Gailey Reservoir-based South Staffs aged 40. He trained as an RYA instructor before becoming Commodore and acting as RYA Training Principal for 15 years. During that time, Roy supervised RYA Start Sailing courses for over 250 people and many others on more advanced skill development courses. With his calm manner, he puts great time, energy and effort into supporting and encouraging new sailors.

Speaking on behalf of the RYA, James Allan, RYA Scotland CEO, said: “Our sport genuinely would not exist if we didn’t have the cadre of volunteers across the clubs and organisations, no matter what type of boating it happens to be you’re involved in. Without volunteers clubs simply don’t happen. Their commitment is so important, it’s the bedrock of everything our sport depends on in the UK.”

The RYA is boating’s national governing body and the Volunteer Awards are considered the ‘MBEs’ of the sport, honouring people throughout the UK for their outstanding contributions across all the disciplines the RYA represents, including sailing, windsurfing, powerboating, inland waterways and personal watercraft.

The winners, who were from as far afield as County Down to Torquay, were nominated by their clubs and selected by the RYA Honours and Awards Panel. For more information about the RYA Volunteer Awards or to find out how you can get out on the water in the Midlands visit