TWO dedicated members of Ulley Sailing Club have been presented with awards by HRH the Princess Royal in recognition of their exceptional commitment to the sport.
David White and George Panter were among those honoured at the annual RYA Volunteer Awards in London.
A total of 50 awards were presented this year to celebrate long-standing volunteers and committed youngsters from across the UK.
David, Ulley's bosun for 25 years, picked up an RYA Community Award for Lifetime Commitment.
He said: “I enjoyed the day very much. I volunteer at Ulley because it's such a lovely, friendly club. When you become a member, you become a member of a family and all my friends are there, so it's a pleasure to help out.”
The retired telecoms engineer, aged 81, joined the club in 1991 and still races an Enterprise dinghy.
A former Commodore, David's role as the club's bosun includes maintaining the building, grounds, equipment and boats.
When the dam burst in 2007 and Ulley SC was closed for three years, he was instrumental in getting the club back up and running.
David also volunteers with RYA courses and youth training and shares his know-how with a team of assistant bosuns.
In nominating him for the award, the club said in its citation: “As the smiling, welcoming face of Ulley SC, Dave is always the first to show new members 'the Ulley way'. His work ethic inspires everyone to play a part and each member of this very diverse club has found a friend in him.”
George Panter, a 22-year-old engineering apprentice from Rotherham, was presented with an RYA Young Volunteer Award.
George gives his time as a powerboat, dinghy and youth sailing instructor, and is an assistant bosun, using his practical skills to look after the club tractor, boats and engines.
He is also the club's sailing secretary and was instrumental opening up the club when Covid restrictions allowed, setting up a booking system and developing a new website.
He said: “The club has a really friendly atmosphere and I enjoy using my engineering skills as an assistant bosun. On the instructor side it's nice to see people having fun on the water and progressing from not being able to really sail at all, to within a few days having the basics to take out a boat on their own.”
In its citation for the award, the club summed up: “George is an approachable, helpful and very practical person who does everything with a smile. He is an excellent role model to younger members; every club needs a George!”
The RYA is boating's national governing body and Princess Anne, the Princess Royal, is its president.
Rob Clark, RYA director of Sport Development said: “2021 has been another challenging year for sailing organisations with outdoor activity restarting and restrictions slowly lifting.
“More than ever, volunteers are the backbone of our clubs and the wider boating community, and every single award winner has made an impact by sacrificing their time and expertise so others can enjoy being on the water. It's a pleasure to recognise their achievements.”
Family-friendly Ulley SC is an RYA Recognised Training Centre and offers a warm welcome.
Anyone keen to find out more about its activities or courses can visit www.ulleysailingclub.org.uk or discover more about sailing at www.rya.org.uk/start-boating.