Posted: Tue, 10 Nov 2020 18:30


Volunteer John Linnell from Cransley Sailing Club in Northamptonshire has been recognised for his dedication to the sport with a Lifetime Commitment Award from the Royal Yachting Association.

A club member and volunteer for 25 years, John is among 44 'unsung heroes' from across the UK celebrated in the RYA Volunteer Awards 2020, held annually to say thank you to those who have made an outstanding contribution to boating.

His practical know-how from his working life as a mechanical engineer ensures that anything that has an engine at the club is operational. He has also built pontoons, devised a solar-powered automated starting system for races and designed a weed cutter that is the envy of other local clubs: his non-stop efforts between May and September allow members to sail over much larger areas of the reservoir.

In nominating John for an RYA Volunteer Award, the club said: "John is one of the unsung heroes of the club, working in the background to enable all members to enjoy club sailing. Whether on land, where he fixes and maintains equipment, or on water, where he reassures new sailors, encourages youngsters to crew with him to give them experience and lends a hand with safety boat cover, nothing seems too much trouble for him."

John, of Irthlingborough, who is currently helping to rebuild the 'duty hut' from which members run club racing for sailors, said: "I've always volunteered because I like to be busy and I find it rewarding. We have a super set of people at the club with lots of volunteers and all of the committee members. Like everything it's a team effort, so on behalf of the team I'm very proud to receive this award."

There is usually a glittering awards ceremony in London but this year, due to the ongoing pandemic, the awards have been presented to volunteers at their local sailing clubs or during online gatherings from the safety of home.

Sarah Treseder, RYA Chief Executive, said: "This year more than ever before we have seen our club volunteers come together and work tirelessly to ensure members can continue to sail. The generosity and dedication of each of the RYA Volunteer Award recipients is simply outstanding and it's a pleasure to be able to recognise these winners through this award."

Volunteers like John are the lifeblood of sport and physical activity without whom the majority of opportunities wouldn't be able to happen! If his story has inspired you to give up some of your time to help others get active by becoming a volunteer then please visit the volunteering section of our website to find out how to get started.

Tags: Featured, Sailing, Volunteering

Sport England Logo
Active Partnerships
Youth Sport Trust
Public Health Northamptonshire
Activity Alliance Logo