BURTON SAILORS HONOURED BY HRH THE PRINCESS ROYAL
Two Burton sailors were presented with two of the Royal Yachting Association's most prestigious awards by HRH the Princess Royal, President of the RYA, at the organisation's annual awards ceremony at London's One Great George Street on Friday (23rd November).
Burton Sailing Club stalwart, Jack Francis, was awarded with a Lifetime Commitment Award, while clubmate, Adam Kenney, received an RYA Youth Award.
The pair were nominated for their awards by their sailing club and selected as winners by the Awards panel. A total of 56 voluntary awards were presented to winners hailing from across the UK from as far afield as Cornwall to Argyll.
During his 35 years at Burton SC, Jack, who first discovered sailing as a teenager on holiday in 1957, almost singlehandedly created the club's training section; organising all the courses, advertising, instructor training and the purchasing and repair of the club's dinghies. His exceptional commitment to dinghy and powerboat training has been central to Burton SC's development and the many sailors and instructors who have been taught by him. Many of the club's longest standing members are sailing today because of Jack's dedication.
Meanwhile, Adam acts as Burton SC's Vice Commodore and over the past two years he has worked hard to promote the club and develop the racing section. He is responsible for all the sailing at the club, including the training section, open meetings and the club's own open days and youth sailing. He also sits on the training, sailing and general committees. His energy and enthusiasm are inspirational; a natural leader, he doesn't take any messing around but he is also sensitive and works with the young sailors in a tireless way.
Jack said: "I find it very satisfying helping someone to learn, enjoy and become proficient at a pastime which has given me such pleasure and enjoyment over most of my lifetime. I still help out whenever I'm needed otherwise I am delighted to watch how well our training programme progresses.
"On reflection I feel no award such as this is really for an individual, there are always lots of supporting 'staff' and I always found at Burton SC the support was there for the asking. When you look at the relatively small number of RYA national awards our club's representation in them does Burton SC great credit."
Adam said: "It's a great honour to win this award but I personally accept it on behalf of all the volunteers at Burton SC who dedicate days, weeks and even months of their time to get youngsters and adults onto the water and introduce them to such a fantastic sport. The fact that there are two of us from Burton SC receiving such awards just proves the club is certainly the first choice sailing club in the area for training and racing alike."
Jack and Adam, along with the other RYA Award winners, enjoyed a celebratory lunch in the presence of HRH the Princess Royal and were presented with a commemorative medallion and certificate each.
Sarah Treseder, RYA Chief Executive says "The RYA is delighted to make this award in recognition of Jack and Adam's enthusiasm, promotion of our sport and many years' contribution to the East Midlands' boating scene. The 56 RYA winners are an inspiration to us all and it is my pleasure to recognise and celebrate their hard work and dedication."
For more information about sailing in the East Midlands visit www.rya.org.uk/regions/eastmidlands