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News - Latest News
12 Nov 2015

Staunton Sailor to get Royal Seal of Approval

Staunton's Mike Jones to get Royal Seal of Approval

Staunton Harold Sailing Club’s Mike Jones will be honoured with an RYA Outstanding Contribution Award by sailing’s national governing body, which recognises individuals who have made a significant volunteer contribution to their club or organisation, either over a period of time or a ‘one-off’ effort.

Mike, 70, has been a Staunton Harold member for nearly 9 years and has used his extensive professional experience to help the club attract and keepmore sailors. He has played a major role in helping to improve the club’s facilities, developing fundraising application securing more than £140,000 over the past six years to invest in changing facilities, training rooms, boathouse facilities, a committee boat, safety and training craft and new club dinghies.

He has also helped develop modern club branding, including a new logo, clothing and signage, while improving internal communications through using forums, email and social media and external communications by distributing flyers and information packs to potential new members. 

Mike, who lives in Cotgrave, Nottingham, contributes to a wide range of club activities, including coordinating club open days, and his clear vision and unstinting determination were key elements in Staunton Harold being named RYA Club of the Year in 2014, having been a runner-up in 2012 and 2013.

He said: “I was utterly overwhelmed to learn I had won this award. To have been put forward by my own sailing club at Staunton Harold and the wonderful friends I have there, who are equally deserving in my opinion, and for it to be approved by the RYA, is very, very special.

“I have always loved the sport and the people in it. I’ve been sailing in many places and made great lifelong friends because of it, and I can still compete after all these years!

“Being involved in all we have achieved at Staunton Harold over the last few years has given me the greatest pleasure. Watching the club grow, and all the new people we have encouraged to join and take up the sport, because of the culture of the club, the training, and all the facility and image development is very satisfying. Being awarded the RYA Club of the Year 2014 was a massive reward and simply the icing on the cake.

“Sailing is wonderful sport, it keeps you fit without you noticing it. Watching the sport develop over the years has been fascinating; it is undoubtedly more professional at the top end now, but the basic skills are unchanged, and the camaraderie in the sport is simply brilliant. It’s environmentally friendly, and fun and the wind is free!"

Mike started sailing aged 13, crewing for his father in an Enterprise dinghy at Ripon SC in Yorkshire and has sailed Enterprises and Lasers ever since, some 57 years. He previously held positions of responsibility at clubs overseas, including in Dubai and Geneva, before returning to the UK and eventually discovering Staunton Harold SC where, until last year, he held the role of Rear Commodore Marketing. He remains a keen volunteer on all fronts.

Mike will enjoy a celebratory lunch in the presence of HRH The Princess Royal, and be presented with a commemorative medallion and certificate.  

Duncan Truswell, RYA Sport Development Manager, added: “The RYA Volunteer Awards are all about celebrating the commitment of the countless volunteers who do fantastic work to support boating in all its forms. These people are the lifeblood of our sport; they keep our sailing clubs, events and our organisations thriving and make it possible for others to get out on the water.”