RYA Award And Royal Appointment For Bewl Water Volunteer

RYA Award And Royal Appointment For Bewl Water Volunteer

A Bewl Water sailor will be presented with one of the Royal Yachting Association’s (RYA) most prestigious awards by HRH the Princess Royal, President of the RYA in recognition of his commitment to The Mariners of Bewl.

Richard Hayden, from Westfield near Hastings, was nominated for a Lifetime Commitment Award by his club and selected as a winner by the RYA Honours and Awards Panel. It will be presented at One Great George Street, London on Friday 22nd November.

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, motor cruising, inland waterways and personal watercraft.

Richard is one of the founder members of The Mariners of Bewl, based at Bewl Water, which started with just one Challenger dinghy and a lot of enthusiasm in 1989. He remains the mainstay of the organisation, having introduced countless disabled and non-disabled people to sailing with the conviction that everyone getting out on the water together is the best way to promote the sport.

A selfless, professional team player, he has always been keenly involved with operations and management and has held most committee roles as well as being Chairperson for many years. Now a Trustee, his knowledge of national regulations and best practices has kept The Mariners of Bewl compliant and legal, and he continues to provide active support at all events and sailing days, and to nurture social camaraderie within the organisation.

No task is too small for Richard, whether it is repairing a boat, taking someone nervous out on the water for the first time or organising rotas – he is there helping, encouraging, putting the hours in and making The Mariners of Bewl a really worthwhile organisation to belong to.

On hearing that he had been selected for the award Richard said: “What a wonderful surprise, I am very honoured. It is hard to believe that it was 30 years ago when I first met co founder Jennie Humm and we talked about our wish to create a sailing club at Bewl Water where members, irrespective of their physical disability sailed together on an equal basis with able bodied members. It has been a wonderful journey and one that I know will continue for the foreseeable future.”

For more information about the RYA Volunteer Awards visit www.rya.org.uk/go/volunteerawards