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Home / News / Royal Honour as Banbury Sailing Club Pair Collect National Volunteer Awards
Home / News / Royal Honour as Banbury Sailing Club Pair Collect National Volunteer Awards

Royal Honour as Banbury Sailing Club Pair Collect National Volunteer Awards

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Published 12:01 on 8 Dec 2018

Two Banbury Sailing Club sailors were amongst 57 people from across the UK honoured for their commitment to supporting grassroots sailing by Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal, President of the Royal Yachting Association, at the RYA’s prestigious Volunteer Awards on Friday 16 November.

Graeme Castle received 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 awards ceremony in London, and Andrew Rimmer collected an RYA Outstanding Contribution Award, for individuals who have made a significant volunteer contribution either over a period of time or a ‘one-off’ effort.

Graeme, 54, has been a member at the Boddington Reservoir club since 2001 and a driving force behind the success of the club’s junior racing section. Having served as a Senior Instructor for more than a decade, he has encouraged youngsters to take up racing and guided them as many have progressed into the RYA’s regional and national junior racing squads.

Meanwhile, Andrew, 57, has been an equally big influence in opening up sailing for more local youngsters and enabling them to the enjoy the broader learning benefits that getting on the water brings. Under his leadership the club’s junior section flourished, to the extent that, at one point, numbers had to be capped. Its success rejuvenated the whole club and there are now no fewer than 70 active junior members. 

The RYA is boating’s national governing body and the Volunteer Awards are sometimes 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 selected by the RYA Honours and Awards Panel. 

On presenting the awards, Her Royal Highness stressed how the volunteers in sailing clubs and class associations across the country should not underplay the difference they make to what can be achieved and underlined how their commitment makes it more possible for others to enjoy the sport they love themselves.

Alistair Dickson, RYA Director of Sport Development, said: “The RYA Volunteer Awards recognise the outstanding contributions made by volunteers nationwide. The ceremony was a fantastic opportunity to say thank you to the people that go above and beyond, giving that little bit extra to ensure others can enjoy the sport we all love. Volunteers really are the lifeblood of boating and it’s an honour to reward their efforts and give something back.”

Chris Preston, Chairman of the RYA, added: “Our Volunteer Awards are really critical to our sport because if we look at what the RYA does through the clubs throughout the country, we have more than 80,000 volunteers that make this all possible."

For more information about the RYA Volunteer Awards or to find out how you can get out on the water in the Midlands visit

Last updated 19:24 on 17 June 2020

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