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News - Latest News
1 Jul 2017

Staunton's Joe Smith voted winner of the Best Contribution to Clubs and Societies

Congratulations to Staunton's Joe Smith who has been voted the winner of the Best Contribution to Clubs and Societies award in the HISA (Highlands and Islands Students’ Association) Awards 2017 by students at the University of the Highlands and Islands. Joe has done a great job in not only initiating the University sailing club (UHI Wind and Wave club) but in nurturing it to significant success. This purpose of this student award is to recognise someone who has made an exceptional contribution to a club or society.

In the words of Joe's fellow students:

Joe was the student who started the UHI wind and wave club. This club has had success in competition and lets face it is not the easiest one to run. Joe is a post grad student and so his time is precious, we are grateful for the time and effort he's put in to this club. Thanks Joe.

Joe thoroughly deserves the award for best contribution to clubs and societies for the immense amount of work he has put into starting the UHI Wind and Wave club. From initially contacting others who are interested to form an initial committee to writing many applications for funding grants to fund boats, running training sessions and organising UHI's participation in Scottish Student Sailing events, he has put in hundreds of hours of work, many behind the scenes with little recognition. Whilst he has been surrounded by a team that he has organised and built up he has been the driving force that has created the strong, diverse and vibrant club that at only a year old has both introduced many people to sailing and represented UHI at a Scottish level.

Joe managed to set up a sailing club and get a team to race in just one year. Now more than the 20% of SAMS students are members of the sailing club. I think that this is a great success for a person that is also a PhD student and needs to work a lot. Joe committed to the club a lot training people every Saturday and Sunday and making us all able to race in just a few months. He trained us in such a good way that the ladies team ( composed mainly of people that had never sailed before October 2016) to win the silver league! At the start of next year the club will have its own fleet of boats because Joe spent a lot of his free time applying to grants in order to buy those boats. I think that such a great commitment deserves an award !

Joe deserves this award for being the front of setting up the uhi wind and wave club. Along with this his drive to make the club work.by getting as much money as possible so the club has managed to get their own boats. Also he has been one of the main coaches to organise training for complete beginners in sailing and get them as interesting in sailing as he is.

Joe has put in a huge amount of effort to get the Wind and wave Club set up. He has made it available to as may people in the university as possible, catering for all ability levels, he has applied for grants and funds which have supported the club to go to events and hold its own training weekends. Personally I know my time at university so far and it the future wouldn't have been half as enjoyable without the sailing club.

Joe puts horrendous effort into the sailing club. The club is only one year old but has already participated in many sailing events all around Scotland which he has organized. Without him it would have been impossible, even though he is surrounded by an amazing team. He organized training sessions every weekend over a whole day and applied for funding so that the sailing club can buy boats. It is impressive how he puts so much time and effort into the sailing club and manage to do a PhD

As the out-going (first ever) commodore and the founding member of UHI Wind and Wave Club, Joe has done an immense amount of work for the club and its members. He's been involved in practically every event the club has ever done, not to mention nearly all the events and races the club has gone to. Joe has managed to create a solid base for a club and community that will hopefully keep on growing and progressing in the coming years. The club has become an important part of the student activities in UHI and has been actively representing the university in many different occasions.