HRH The Princess Royal awards Bembridge Volunteer

Mike Samuelson from Bembridge, was amongst the 57 people and teams who were recognised at the RYA Volunteer Awards on Friday (16 November).

The Awards were presented by HRH the Princess Royal, President of the RYA, in recognition of boating’s most dedicated volunteers.

At the ceremony, held at One Great George Street, Westminster, London, Mike received his RYA Regional Award in recognition of his commitment to the RYA’s South Region.

Mike received his RYA Regional Award in recognition of his commitment to the RYA’s South Region.

Mike became Bembridge Sailing Club Secretary in 1996 and has gone on to fulfil many key club and Isle of Wight roles, as well as providing valuable local knowledge to the RYA on Marine Conservation Zone issues.

As the Hon Secretary of the Bembridge Harbour Users Group since it was founded fifteen years ago, he has helped to preserve access for boaters to Bembridge. At Bembridge SC he introduced and ran training courses, becoming the Club’s Chief Instructor from 2000 to 2014.

Mike was a Deputy Launching Authority for Bembridge Lifeboat from 2004 to 2012, and Lifeboat Operations Manager from 2012 to 2017. He is a member of the Lifeboat’s local Visits Team, Education Team and Community Safety Team. Mike’s endeavours have helped countless people to learn to sail safely and enjoy the sport at all levels.

“Reading and hearing about the other award winners at Friday’s annual RYA Award Ceremony was very humbling,” said Mike. “It really showed the extent of the dedicated volunteer army that exists throughout the country supporting recreational and competitive boating. I felt especially honoured and am extremely grateful to those who nominated me. It was indeed a very special day.”

RYA Director of Sport Development Alistair Dickson commented: “The RYA Volunteer Awards, sometimes known as the MBEs of our sport, recognise the outstanding contributions made by volunteers nationwide.

He adds “Today has been a fantastic opportunity to say thank you to the people that go above and beyond, giving that little bit extra to ensure others can enjoy the sport we all love. Volunteers really are the lifeblood of boating and it’s an honour to reward their efforts and give something back.”

Nominations are now invited for the 2019 RYA Volunteer Awards.