Lifetime Commitment Award for Roy!!

HRH The Princess Royal, President of the Royal Yachting Association (RYA), will present a Cannock sailor with one of the RYA’s most prestigious awards this month, in recognition of his exceptional generosity and commitment to the sport at grassroots level.

Roy Alexander 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, at the RYA’s annual awards ceremony in London on Friday 22 November.

Roy was a late starter to sailing, joining Gailey Reservoir-based South Staffs SC, at the age of 40. But, he quickly trained as an RYA instructor before later becoming club Commodore and the RYA Training Principal, a position he held for 15 years before finally ‘retiring’ from the role in 2018. During his time at Principal, Roy supervised RYA Start Sailing courses for well over 250 students and scores of others on more advanced skill development courses.

With his calm manner, he has encouraged other members to become instructors, sharing his wealth of experience and ensuring there is a good pool available to teach at the club. He puts time, energy and great effort into supporting and encouraging new sailors. His generosity knows no bounds, giving one-to-one support sessions and extra ad hoc coaching, helping others out by lending books, DVDs and even kit. His love of sailing is infectious.

Roy said: “Sailing has been a brilliant way of life for myself and my family; it has given us lots of friends in a whole sailing community not just at the club. My daughters still compete at national events and my grandsons have started to come to the club too! I have been involved in some activity at South Staffs SC almost every week since I joined the club in 1988. Sailing is a workout for mind and body and a great antidote to the stresses of working life.

“I was delighted and honoured to hear I had won this award and feel a sense of pride and satisfaction when I reflect that I have been instrumental in teaching so many people to sail and seeing many of them, particularly those who started sailing as youngsters, enjoy and achieve success in their sailing. Some of them have become instructors themselves and I know the future of teaching sailing at the club is in safe hands.”

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 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 www.rya.org.uk