A Bewl Water sailor and volunteer has been presented with one of the RYA’s most prestigious awards by HRH the Princess Royal, president of the RYA in recognition of his commitment to The Mariner of Bewl (MOB).
Richard Hayden, from Westfield near Hastings, received a Lifetime Commitment Award after being nominated by his club and selected as a winner by the RYA Honours and Awards Panel. He was 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.
Watch a video of the awards here.
Richard is one of the founder members of MOB, 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 Chair person for many years. Now a Trustee, his knowledge of national regulations and best practices has kept MOB 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 MOB a really worthwhile organisation to belong to.
Richard said: “I am honored to have been nominated, and delighted to have been presented this award. It was a privilege to spend a lovely day amongst people from all parts of the UK who are equally passionate about sailing.
“Receiving an award for my contribution over the past 30 years to our integrated sailing club, Mariners of Bewl was wonderful, and I look forward to many more years involvement and enjoyment sailing with other members, irrespective of any physical disability or ability, on our reservoir on the Kent/East Sussex border.”
Nominations are now invited for the 2020 RYA volunteer awards, visit www.rya.org.uk/go/volunteerawards