HRH the Princess Royal Rewards Wolverhampton Volunteers

Five South Staffordshire sailors were rewarded for their outstanding commitment to their sport as they were presented with RYA Volunteer Awards by Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal, at the RYA’s annual awards ceremony at One Great George Street, London on Friday (24 November).

South Staffordshire Sailing Club’s Steve and Lynn Baker, from Lichfield, and Blithfield Sailing Club’s Margaret and Bill Boyson received RYA Lifetime Commitment Awards, for individuals who have shown exceptional commitment and dedication to their club or organisation for at least 15 years.

Meanwhile, the Baker’s South Staffs’ club mate, Kamila Czartolomna, 17, collected 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..

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 South Staffordshire recipients were amongst 58 awards presented to boating’s most dedicated volunteers this year.

Kamila was described as a ‘leading light’ and an exceptional ambassador for her club and sport having, amongst other personal achievements, inspired a group of teenagers to become actively involved at her sailing club.

She said: “I was quite shocked when I found out I’d won, I wasn’t expecting it at all. I do what I do mainly just for fun, I really enjoy doing it. With sailing it’s not just about everyone doing the same thing, you also have powerboating. You can become a part of the club and have a really good time.”

The Bakers, Boysons and Kamila were nominated by their clubs and selected as winners by the RYA Honours and Awards Panel.

Alistair Dickson, RYA Director of Sport Development, added: “Volunteers are the lifeblood of our sport. The ceremony was an excellent opportunity to celebrate the fantastic work our volunteers do to support boating activity in all forms throughout the UK. All of the stories behind these special people have been truly inspiring to hear and it’s really an honour to be able to say thank you and celebrate their amazing achievements.”

Before the awards presentation, RYA CEO, Sarah Treseder, presented Her Royal Highness with pair of marine binoculars on behalf of the RYA’s Members to mark her 30 years as President of the RYA.

For more information about the RYA Volunteer Awards or to find out how you can get out on the water in the Midlands visit