Royal recognition for County Antrim Yacht Club member’s ‘outstanding contribution’ to sailing
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Richard Robinson, from the Whitehead-based club, received an Outstanding Contribution award at the RYA Volunteer Awards 2023 in London.
Attended by The Princess Royal, President of the RYA, the awards highlighted the work of volunteers across the United Kingdom.
Over many years, Richard has taught hundreds of people to sail, led dozens of power and safety boat courses and facilitated thousands of races. He is also the RTC principal for Belfast Lough Sailability, a Carrickfergus-based charity that trains, educates and encourages more people with disabilities or disadvantages on to the water.
Last year he encouraged three female members to undertake their Powerboat Instructor course and offered significant input and resources to their preparation. Richard has been hailed for the huge amount of energy he puts into his endeavours and how he carries everyone along with him.
He said: “I feel honoured and humbled to be recognised for this award. Before volunteering in sailing, I had volunteered in another sport and had seen how much volunteer support can deliver and grow participation.
“Through my work with Sailability, I’ve learnt how much people love to learn no matter what hand in life is dealt to them. My biggest challenge as a volunteer is time or lack of it. Being organised and helping organisations is where I help make the biggest impact.”
Also honoured was Jack Kennedy, of Strangford Lough Yacht Club, who received a Young Volunteer award.
Sara Sutcliffe MBE, RYA CEO, said: “I’m immensely grateful for everything you do, which simply put, keeps our sport and communities afloat.”