A DEDICATED volunteer from Draycote Water Sailing Club was buoyant after receiving a lifetime achievement award from HRH The Princess Royal.
Southam resident Jonathan Hughes, who leads the youth and junior section at the club, was among those honoured at a glittering RYA Volunteer Awards ceremony held in London this month. He was presented with the award in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the sport.
The RYA is boating’s national governing body and 48 RYA Volunteer Awards were presented to recipients from across the UK in recognition of their exceptional commitment and achievements in boating.
Jonathan has been an active member of Draycote Water SC for more than 40 years and was presented with a Lifetime Commitment Award in recognition of his dedication to supporting activities at the club and in particular his inspirational work with the youth and junior section.
His volunteer roles at the club have included Rear Commodore Sail and Fleet Captain. He also supports racing management for events and championships at the club, and since 2016 he has run the youth and junior section.
Club president Jeremy Atkins said: “It is a reflection of Jonathan’s contribution that he, either alone or with others, has been awarded the club’s own award for voluntary service, the Commodore’s Cup, three times throughout his time as a member. He is always willing to stop and talk to new and old members alike, encouraging participation with a broad smile and positive attitude.”
Under Jonathan’s leadership, youth and junior activity at the club has increased dramatically, with children and young people aged eight upwards able to develop their skills and confidence on the water while having fun and making lasting friendships, with some even going on to compete nationally and internationally.
Jonathan said: “It was a great surprise, and a great honour to hear that I had been nominated for this award. Introducing so many young people to our sport and seeing them grow into confident and accomplished sailors, capable of competing at the highest level, has been a great source of personal satisfaction for me.
“It has not been down to me alone though, and I would like to say a huge thank you to our team of volunteers who enable so many youth and junior sailing activities to take place at the club for their continuing help.”