Bruce James received an RYA Lifetime Commitment Award for his exceptional generosity and commitment to boating at the awards ceremony and exclusive luncheon held at One Great George Street, Westminster.
Watch a video of the day watch
The RYA Awards are presented to outstanding individuals for their commitment and services to boating and to the RYA, at either a Regional or National level. A total of 44 volunteers were recognised across four categories, the RYA Awards, RYA Community Awards, Francis Elkin Award and the RYA Family Award.
The RYA Community Awards consisting of Lifetime Commitment, Outstanding Contribution and Youth categories, were presented to individuals nominated by their sailing clubs and class associations and selected by the RYA Awards Panel for their contributions to sailing at grassroots level.
RYA Director of Sport Development Alistair Dickson explains: “The RYA Volunteer Awards are all about celebrating the hard work and dedication of the many volunteers who put so much in to support our sport.
“It’s really important we take the time to say thank you. These volunteers are making our sport happen and without them we wouldn’t be getting out on the water and enjoying all the activities which we do today”.
Bruce said of the award: “I am very pleased to have received this award, which was described by the RYA's Chief Executive, perhaps a little tongue in cheek, as the MBEs of our sport.
“There are many members at our club whose voluntary commitment contribute to the club's success and I thank the club for putting me forward.
“The day itself was a model of how to run a successful award ceremony, pleasant, well organised, slick and overall highly enjoyable. My thanks to all concerned.”
In nominating Bruce for the award Upper Thames Sailing Club (UTSC) said: “Bruce has served the sport of sailing for over 50 years and UTSC since 1975. “He has fulfilled most roles in the club, including Training Principal, Rear Commodore, General Secretary and Commodore.
“He has always been the voice of reason within committees, applying pragmatism and subtle humour to remove the heat from debates and move things forward.
“He has also served as Race Officer for Bourne End Week and other major regattas. These are complex sailing events, often with 70 boats on the water, and Bruce has discharged his duties with good humour while managing a demanding set of competitors.
“In his mid-60s he retook his Instructor qualification, which he held for another six years, only recently stepping back to Assistant Instructor.
“Since standing down as Commodore, he has freely offered his insurance industry expertise to the club by assisting with several insurance claims, most recently following the 2014 storms when the Thames Valley, and the clubhouse, were flooded.
“From starting Fun Sailing on Saturdays in the 70s, to using his wealth of experience to lead induction sessions for new members today, Bruce has been a much revered cornerstone of the club for four decades.“
Do you know a volunteer who always goes the extra mile? Nominations for the 2017 RYA Volunteer Awards are now invited. For more information and to make a nomination visit ryavolunteerawards