Burton SC duo receive royal seal of approval
TWO Burton sailors picked up prestigious awards from HRH the Princess Royal at the Royal Yachting Association's annual ceremony in London.
Burton Sailing Club stalwart Jack Francis was given a Lifetime Commitment Award, while clubmate Adam Kenney received an RYA Youth Award.
The pair were nominated for the awards by their sailing club and selected as winners by the awards panel.
A total of 56 voluntary awards were presented to people from across the UK.
During his 35 years at Burton SC, Francis, who first discovered sailing as a teenager on holiday in 1957, almost single-handedly 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.
"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," said Francis.
"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."
Kenney is 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.
He was commended for his energy, enthusiasm and leadership.
"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 on to the water and introduce them to such a fantastic sport," said Kenney.
"The fact that there are two of us from Burton SC receiving such awards just proves the club is the first choice sailing club in the area for training and racing alike."
The winners enjoyed a celebratory lunch in the presence of HRH the Princess Royal, president of the RYA, and were presented with a commemorative medallion and certificate each.
RYA chief executive Sarah Treseder said: "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."