A Gainsborough sailor will receive one of the Royal Yachting Association’s most prestigious awards from HRH the Princess Royal, President of the RYA, later this month in celebration of his huge contribution to the sport.
Girton Sailing Club’s Will Baldock will be honoured with an RYA Youth Award by sailing’s national governing body, which recognises individuals under 25 who have demonstrated a regular commitment and/or inspirational contribution over and above their own participation or achievement within the sport.
Will, 24, is one of only three RYA Youth Award winners nationwide. Having learnt to sail at Girton with Lincolnshire Scouts, Will went on to become a Dinghy Instructor, and more recently a Senior Instructor and Powerboat Instructor. As an active club member Will has held a couple of different committee positions, looks after the club website and publicity and is always on-hand for maintenance tasks.
As a teen, Will took part in the Honda RYA Youth RIB Challenge, the grassroots powerboat driver development programme, reaching the final several times, before now organising the local training and events. He also continues to support the local Scouts and in 2014 organised two camps at Girton while helping hundreds of other Scouts to go sailing at the club. Will is always keen to help others and is an exemplary role model to younger club members.
He said: “It was a surprise and privilege to find out I had been nominated for an award. I don’t volunteer for recognition but it is great to know the time and effort supporting the sport is appreciated.
“The sport of sailing has helped me build confidence through working my way to achieve Senior Instructor and Powerboat Instructor qualifications allowing me to give back to the sport. Watersports allow you to progress in a way you choose, either personally through racing or supporting others by becoming instructors.
“My most pleasing contribution came this year with organising the East Midlands Honda RYA Youth RIB Championship regional final having been a competitor for many years. To top it off a Girton sailor won the East Midlands final and went on to win the National 13-16 age-group final too!”
Will was nominated by the organisations he works with and selected as a winner by the RYA Awards panel. He 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.”
For more information about the RYA Volunteer Awards visit www.rya.org.uk/go/RYAVolunteerAwards